Recent retail figures have been described as healthy by the Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA).

Commenting on the ABS retail figures for August, Margy Osmond, ANRA CEO says: “The 0.7 per cent growth in retail sales is a very healthy result, given consumers were hit with an interest rate rise at the beginning of the month and also weathered a volatile period on the stock market.

“The growth follows two strong consecutive gains in June and July with all states returning increases. While the resources states – Western Australia, Queensland and Northern Territory – have shown the strongest results across the year to August, we’re starting to see a levelling effect with the southern states performing well.
“New South Wales managed 0.7 per cent growth despite the impact of the equine flu on apparel and luxury good sales. Not surprisingly, department stores were down 4.2 per cent, which may also be a result of a lull following the July sales,” she says.
“Food sales were stronger this month than non-food sales, which could be a result of interest rate pressure – shoppers may be limiting expenditure on big-ticket items.
“Consumers are also yet to feel the effects of the Government’s recent amendments to the Trade Practices Act, which are likely to cause greater uncertainty in the retail sector and thus reduce discounting. As we’re heading into the peak retail trading period around Christmas, shoppers may be disappointed by a reduction in traditional discounting,” adds Osmond.