Christmas 2016 Retail Spend Looks Hopeful

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reports a slow rise of 2.84 percent national growth in retail sales for the last 12 months, till August 2016, providing a hopeful outlook for local retailers leading up to Christmas.

Total national retail spending rose by just under one billion dollars in one month, from $25.01 billion in July to $25.1 billion in August 2016, according to ABS data.

With the Federal Election now out of the way, retailers are hopeful for continued growth in the clothing, footwear and personal accessories category, which showed 6.8 percent growth.

“With supermarkets accounting for nearly 50% of all retail sales, the soft increase in the category contributes significantly to the low overall growth of the retail sector,” said Australian Retailers Association’s executive director, Russell Zimmerman.

Retailers are reporting increased sales as the season moves towards summer, according to Zimmerman.

In seasonally adjusted terms, year on year, the ABS report showed retail sales growth in the following categories:

  • Household goods 1.64 percent
  • Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services 5.92 percent
  • Food 2.62 percent
  • Clothing, footwear and personal accessories 6.86 percent
  • Other retailing 2.12 per cent

This was in contrast with department store sales, which decreased by a 2.39 percent.

Another notably strong area of retail growth was takeaway food services, with 11.4 percent year on year growth, reflecting the formidable expansion of fast food retailers across the country, with Tasmania, South Australia and ACT leading the state-based categories.

“The figures reported by the ABS also highlight a number of trends in regards to state specific retail trade and varying state economic performances,” said Zimmerman.

“What the figures show is the need for continued growth-focused and flexibility-based economic outcomes. We need a real economic, tax and jobs reform package to drive the economy and retail growth.”

 

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