Monday, April 22, 2024

July trade figures ‘disappointing’ for retail

The National Retail Association (NRA) says the new financial year has got off to a “disappointing” start for retail.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), trade figures flatlined for July.

First, retail turnover remained unchanged at zero per cent. Second, there were falls in three of the six industries. Third, six states and territories recorded a sales drop in seasonally adjusted terms.

No need to panic?

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb says it’s important consumer confidence recovers as the sector prepares to head into the crucial Christmas trade period.

“There’s no need to hit the panic button just yet,” she said. “But the July figures released by the ABS are certainly very ordinary.

“Retail had enjoyed three consecutive months of growth, so it’s very disappointing to see the figures flatline for July.

“Consumer confidence is a little fragile at present. So the NRA would urge the RBA to keep interest rates low for the time being.

“Within the next six months, there are state elections in both Victoria and NSW. Not to mention a federal poll also taking place between now and May 2019.

“We know people spend less during election periods due to the uncertainty. So we can’t get complacent with the Christmas trade period just around the corner.”

Seasonally adjusted, there were falls in household goods (-1.2 per cent), clothing (-2 per cent) and department stores (-1.9 per cent).

These results were offset by rises in other retailing (1.7 per cent), food (0.3 per cent), and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food (0.6 per cent).

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