The latest ABS Retail Trade figures show that retail sales increased 0.2 per cent in June, seasonally adjusted, compared with an increase of 0.2 per cent the previous month.
Dismal retail growth of only 0.2 per cent in June is very disappointing and points to tough times for retail as it climbs out of the crater left by the global financial crisis, said Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA) CEO Margy Osmond.
“Clearly the stimulus package in 2009 made for strong sales in difficult times,” she said.
“However, the good times of early last year have been followed by the sluggish growth and the hangover retail is suffering now. We are still some way from the Berocca kicking in for the retail sector,” she said.
Household goods retailing (1.3 per cent) recorded the largest seasonally adjusted increase in June followed by department stores (0.6 per cent), cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.6 per cent) and other retailing (0.3 per cent). Sales in clothing, footwear and other personal accessory retailing (-1.2 per cent) decreased in June after a strong result in May and food retailing (-0.3 per cent) also recorded a small decrease in sales.
Trend turnover increased 0.3 per cent in June 2010. This follows a 0.2 per cent increase in both May 2010 and April 2010. In the 12 months to June 2010 trend turnover increased 3.2 per cent. Turnover volume increased 0.8 per cent, seasonally adjusted, in the three months to June 2010.
“We’re grateful there has been continued growth, but clearly retail is not out of the woods yet. Sales volume growth in the June quarter is 0.8 per cent, which is stable, but in the past 12 months the sector growth is only 1.3 per cent, well below the three to four per cent range retail would consider normal growth for sales volumes,” said Osmond.
June figures were expected to be higher, with no interest rate rises in the month, and the traditional sales season. The non-stop sales of the past six months may also have impacted on the June spend.
The sale culture has also seen an impact on prices with price declines for the month in clothing, household and department stores.
“We know from the ANRA/AMEX survey, which was released today, that Australians with a mortgage are delaying purchases or waiting for sales and that’s likely to get worse in the next six months.
“Of the 1000 people interviewed in our survey – 24 per cent of respondents had delayed purchases of items costing over $500.00 and in the next six months 47 per cent of the same group anticipated interest rates making an impact on their spending choices,” said Osmond.