The ABS Retail Trade figures released yesterday showing a small 0.3 per cent growth in sales highlights the trend of patchy recovery and that Australia is not showing strong signs of spending consistent with trend economic growth.
Australian Retailers Association (ARA) executive director Russell Zimmerman said retailers relying on a business boost in Christmas sales will be concerned that consumer confidence will drop in the face of three successive interest rate rises taking cash out of their pockets.
"The ARA has been stressing for several months the need for the Reserve Bank to put a hold on interest rate rises until there were clear signs of recovery,” said Zimmerman.
“The 2009 ARA Christmas Retail Expectations Survey revealed 56 per cent of retailers believed the past two interest rate cuts would decrease sales over the festive season. With the extra rise on Tuesday – these statistics may now rise and cause even greater impact to sales.”
October seasonally adjusted terms showed increased trade in the following states: New South Wales (1.2 per cent), Western Australia (0.9 per cent), Tasmania (1.5 per cent), Northern Territory (1.8 per cent). Victoria (-0.9 per cent), Queensland (-0.2 per cent) and Australian Capital Territory (-0.6 per cent) showed a decline and South Australia was unchanged.
In seasonally adjusted terms, October showed growth in department stores (1.9 per cent), cafes, restaurants, takeaway food (1.1 per cent), household goods retailing (0.1 per cent). Declines were recorded in food retailing (- 0.1 per cent), clothing, footwear and personal accessories (-0.2 per cent) and other retailing (-0.1 per cent)