The latest retail figures for June have been released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
“The 1.4 per cent growth in retail sales is a solid improvement compared to the revised results showing an even weaker April and May, which showed a slowdown in consumer spending,” says Margy Osmond, CEO of the Australian National Retailers Association.
“With the cooler weather in June finally upon us and people rugging up to ward off the cold, it is not surprising that a significant increase in clothing sales for the month of June contributed to the growth after unseasonably warm temperatures in May.
“We also expect more buoyant figures for July, as more of the tax cuts and one-off payments delivered in the Federal Budget come into effect.
“While June has been stronger overall, the 0.2 per cent drop in sales over the quarter should not be overlooked and with this in mind, we would urge the RBA to exercise some caution ahead of the decision on interest rates next week,” says Osmond.
“The decision on interest rates next week will determine just how much is kept in the hip pocket and how much is in the retail sector in the next quarter.
“Prices have increased over the quarter after the flow through of the drought, floods and petrol prices.
“Current proposed changes to the Trade Practices Act put forward by Family First Senator Fielding, if passed, will also stimulate a further increase in prices particularly in the food and grocery sector.
“We would urge federal parliamentarians to exercise great caution in supporting changes in legislation that may reduce competition and drive prices higher,” concludes Osmond.