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Retail sales slump in July despite tax relief

Retail sales have taken a dive in July despite widespread speculation that the government’s tax cuts would boost consumer sentiment.

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Turnover fell 0.1 per cent in the month of July, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The drop comes after a sharp rise of 0.4 per cent in June.

The results have sparked dismay across the sector, with the National Retail Association on Tuesday saying the figures were “a bad sign.”

“There were falls in four of the six industries and six of the eight states and territories in July,” said Ben James, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys.

“Cafes, restaurants and takeaway services (-0.6 per cent) led the falls. There were also falls in Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-1.0 per cent), Other retailing (-0.4 per cent), and Department stores (-0.2 per cent). Food retailing (0.3 per cent), and Household goods retailing (0.1 per cent) rose this month”.

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The dip came across most Australia states, with South Australia experiencing the biggest fall at 0.5 per cent since the previous month followed by the ACT, Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania.

Sales rose 0.6 per cent in Western Australia and 0.3 per cent in the Northern Territory.

Dominique Lamb, CEO of the NRA said the results came as a huge disappointment.

“The July results are not good news for retailers, we were hopeful of far better figures following a strong sales performance for June,” said

“A drop in turnover shows that consumer confidence remains stubbornly low, despite measures such as the personal tax cuts and reduction in interest rates.

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