New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show retail sales exploded by 8.2 per cent in March, with Australians spending an extra $2.7 billion on grocery items.
Supermarket and grocery stores were at the forefront of the lift in sales, next to booze and other specialised foods. Food sales experienced the biggest jump, up 23.5 per cent, which equates to more than $2.7 billion.
Unsurprisingly, toilet and tissue paper, rice, pasta and flour sales more than doubled, with a 50 per cent increase in cleaning products, canned goods and medicine.
Data from the ABS showed there was a peak in mid-March before sales started to balance out as consumers most likely began to run out of room in their pantries to store their purchases.
The jump in sales was the biggest monthly increase in spending on record. The last surge was seen in June 2000, which was just before the introduction of GST. This was followed by the worst monthly result on record, a 10.6 per cent decrease in spending in July 2000.
However, it was less than good news for cafes and restaurants, with sales falling 20 per cent. Sales in clothing also dropped by roughly 20 per cent.
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