The Arts and recreation services industry recorded the largest percentage increase in business turnover in March, rising 9.7%, according to monthly figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Robert Ewing, ABS head of business indicators, said: “Strong ground attendance at AFL events and an earlier start to the NRL season over March contributed to the rise in business turnover for Arts and recreation services.”

Electricity, gas, water and waste services recorded the second largest monthly rise in turnover (+9.5%), followed by Other services (+5.2%) which includes personal care services and selected repair and maintenance activities.

Retail trade saw the largest fall (-2.0%), due to lower turnover for motor vehicles and household goods. This was followed by Construction, which fell 0.7%, with weakness seen across building construction firms.

All 13 selected industries recorded year-on-year increases, led by Accommodation and food services (+19.7%), Administration and support services (+19.4%) and Arts and recreation services (+18.4%).