The Australian Retailers Associations said it retail members would be disappointed that there was no drop in the official cash rate for September 2014. The Reserve Bank of Australia yesterday maintained the 2.5 per cent cash rate.

“Worsening employment figures are also painting a picture of an economy needing monetary support," said ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman.

“Lowering interest rates today would have been a supportive step in the right direction for the retail sector and jobs but unfortunately this wasn’t the reality.

“Given the current fiscal tightening of the economy to balance the budget, retailers believe the RBA will need to continue to support the economy via low interest rates for some time. The RBA remains one of the few central banks able to offer that support to the economy globally.

“There were some signs of life for the retail sector in the 2013-14 financial year, however, this activity has been short lived and extra stimulus is now needed for the consumer-lead economy.

“It is imperative that the RBA do all that it can to ensure that retail trade does not suffer as we gear up toward the spring/summer racing season and also the Christmas trading period.

“With the festive season right around the corner, retailers are beginning to invest in new marketing strategies and have also begun hiring Christmas casuals. The cost of doing business is increasing daily. Now is the time for the RBA to lower interest rates and aid retail growth."