The seasonally adjusted national figures show a marked deterioration in turnover since June, when spending rose by 0.4 per cent.
South Australia ranked alongside the ACT with an 0.5 per cent drop, while Queensland’s retail turnover dropped by 0.2 per cent and New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania all fell by 0.1 per cent.
However, retail spending climbed by 0.6 per cent in Western Australia, and 0.3 per cent in the Northern Territory.
Cafes, restaurants and takeaway meals were the hardest hit retail sector, with turnover dropping by 0.6 per cent nationwide in July, with department stores also falling victim to the spending slowdown with a 0.2 per cent drop since June.
Spending on clothing, footwear and personal accessories also fell by 1.0 per cent.
But there were bright spots, with food retailing jumping by 0.3 per cent, and spending on household goods increasing by 0.1 per cent.
In trend terms, retail turnover rose 0.1 per cent in July 2019, following a 0.2 per cent rise in June, while online shopping made up 6.1 per cent of total sales, unchanged from June.
Online shopping turnover increased since the 5.5 per cent recorded a year earlier in July 2018.
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