Friday, May 31, 2024

Retail experiences first fall of 2022

Australian retail turnover fell 0.2% in October, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

This is the first monthly fall of the year in retail trade, following a 0.6% rise in both August and September 2022.

“The October fall in retail turnover ends a run of nine straight monthly rises and suggests increased cost of living pressures including interest rate rises have started to weigh on consumer spending,” says ABS Head of Retail Statistics Ben Dorber.

“Turnover fell in all industries in October except for food retailing, which rose 0.4% boosted by flood-related spending in parts of Australia and continued high food prices.”

Despite this, retail sales – $35 billion spent in stores and online – were up 12.5% on the same time a year ago.

“October results remain strong when compared to the same period last year, and that is a remarkable result in the face of current challenges,” says Australian Retailers Association (ARA) CEO Paul Zahra.

“We are optimistic about pre-Christmas trading, anticipating a $63.9 billion spend this year – up 3% on 2021 spending according to our ARA-Roy Morgan predictions. However, it’s important to acknowledge that price increases are a factor in these numbers and are also driving Australians to spend to get in ahead of inflation. We haven’t yet seen the forecast inflationary peak, and we anticipate a softening of sales in 2023.

“Early indications of Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales points to being record-breaking based on foot traffic and anecdotal feedback. However, these results could be due to delayed purchases and Christmas purchases brought forward. The success of this global event can only really be determined at the end of the all-important Christmas trading quarter.

“The rising cost of doing business along with supply chain disruptions and staff shortages remain top of mind for retailers. We continue to engage with governments around short and long-term solutions to aid the retail industry’s permanent state of disruption.”

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