The Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA) has blamed carbon price uncertainty for keeping consumers out of shops leading to a drop in sales.
Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week showed a 0.6 per cent drop in retail turnover in May, the worst result since October last year.
According to ANRA CEO Margy Osmond fears of an interest rate rise in July (which were put to rest on Tuesday with rates kept on hold) also had shoppers scared.
“In May consumers were anticipating a rate rise in June, the debate about the carbon price was raging and consumer confidence was at lows not seen since June 2009,” she says.
“Uncertainty had deflated the retail sector, which is also struggling with the continued negativity on the carbon price, contributing to low consumer confidence.
“Australians need to know what this carbon price will mean for them as individuals, so they can see the real impact on their household budgets and plan accordingly. Then we might begin to see them creeping back in store, at least we hope to.”
Osmond may get her wish this Sunday with the Federal Government expected to reveal its price on pollution as part of its campaign to tackle climate change.