Retail enjoyed a boom 24 hours following key announcements in the federal budget, says the National Retail Association (NRA).
The NRA also says Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures show that the sector “broke free of its shackles” in February.
NRA CEO Dominique Lamb says the news regarding both the budget and February sales are a “welcome relief” for retailers.
“The 2019 budget takes keys steps towards helping Australia’s retail sector,” she said. “This has so far experienced a slow start to the year.
“The tax cuts for low and middle-income earners will mean ordinary Australians will now have more money in their hip pocket to spend at the shops. The need to restore consumer confidence was vital. These tax breaks will go a long way to achieving that.
“Mum-and-dad small businesses have been struggling so far in 2019. But the extension of the instant asset write-off will make a big difference to smaller retailers.
“Local cafes, family-owned restaurants and small clothing shops, to name just a few, will now be able to make investments in their business that would otherwise be unaffordable.”
Meanwhile, the ABS has released its retail trade report for February 2019. They show that retail sales soared by 0.8 per cent.
“The ABS sales figures for February are the largest monthly increase since November 2017,” Ms Lamb said. “They indicate that consumer confidence is heading in the right direction.
“It’s been a very sluggish period for retail. But these figures serve as a giant morale boost to businesses across the country.
“Combined with tax cuts announced in the budget, this bodes well for an increase in discretionary spending in the coming months. That will be very good news for retail.”