The Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA) is predicting a bumper Christmas for retailers following the release of latest sales growth figures.

ANRA CEO Margy Osmond says that while the seasonally adjusted sales growth for October of 0.2 per cent was down on previous months, it was still a solid result.

“With sales trending upwards 0.7 per cent, turnover up 5.3 per cent from September till October and an increase in sales for the month of 7.7 per cent from the same time last year, all signs are pointing to a boom Christmas shopping period,” she says. 

“Consumer sentiment is continuing to stand firm on the back of record unemployment levels, wages growth and tax cuts announced in this year’s Federal Budget.

“This is supported by a recent survey of 1000 Australians conducted by ANRA which found seven in 10 people are expecting to spend more or about the same as last year on Christmas this year.

“And retailers should brace themselves for the traditional last minute surge with 50 per cent of those polled leaving their shopping till sometime in December.

“According to the ABS figures household goods to be the strongest performing followed by recreational goods and food.

“While what continues to be strong year for retail has been led by the resource rich states – Western Australia, Queensland and Northern Territory – things are starting to level out. New South Wales has led the charge with four consecutive months of strong growth, while Victoria has recorded five months of moderate growth and Western Australia recording a drop of 0.8 per cent in October.

“However sales could still be tempered by the recent interest rates rise and the potential for another hike forcing homeowners in the mortgage belt to moderate their spending,” concludes Osmond.