Modest but positive growth in retail sales

Retail sales growth will remain positive despite a modest slowdown heading into the September quarter, according to the 22nd edition of the AFGC CHEP Retail Index.

Growth in Australian retail sales, in trend, nominal terms, has continued to slow marginally over the past two quarters to 3.5 per cent in the June quarter, the Index shows. Looking ahead to the September quarter, a further softening to 3.1 per cent year-on-year growth is forecast.

On a monthly basis, the Index was 3.6 per cent higher in June 2016 compared with June 2015 and year-on-year growth for August 2016 is forecast to be 3.1 per cent.

“Factors including food price deflation and a cooling housing cycle are having an effect on food retailers, who have experienced relatively weak sales growth through 2016,” Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) CEO Gary Dawson said. “However, overall, Australian retailers are continuing to see positive sales growth, albeit modest.”

The AFGC CHEP Retail Index is a collaborative project between the AFGC and CHEP Australia, powered by Deloitte. The Index uses CHEP transactional data based on pallet movements and is a lead indicator of Australian Bureau of Statistics retail trade data.

The next Index will be released in late October 2016.