Retailers hoping for some Christmas cheer after a year of waning consumer confidence will be happy to read that sales are expected to boom through late November and December 2014. The Australian Retailers Association is predicting a 4.3 per cent jump in year-on-year pre-Christmas sales, as consumers rush to buy gifts for their loved one.

All told, the ARA says Australians will spend a mammoth $45 billion at retail between 15 November and Christmas Eve this year, with a wide range of products expected to be popular

“The 4.3 per cent growth may result in shoppers starting their Christmas shopping a little earlier this year, rather than leaving it until late December," said ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman. "However, we also know that the week before Christmas will remain the busiest time for pre-Christmas shopping, and therefore the most profitable time for retailers."

The ARA made these bold and positive statements after perusing research it conducted with survey specialist Roy Morgan. Zimmerman elaborated on where this research indicated the money will flow.

“Delving further into the ARA/Roy Morgan figures we are expecting the hospitality, food and household goods categories to experience higher levels of growth this Christmas than apparel. This comes as no surprise as department stores and clothing, footwear and personal accessories usually rely on last minute Christmas promotions for any significant growth in sales during the festive season.

“This time last year, the ARA forecasted $42.2 billion would go through retail tills during the pre-Christmas trading period and this figure was later confirmed at an actual pre-Christmas spend of $43 billion. The ARA’s forecast was almost bang on, and while concerns remain over consumer confidence and low jobs growth, it’s fairly safe to say the retail industry is optimistic for a cracker Christmas this year,” concluded Zimmerman.