The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) again kept interest rates on hold at an historic low of 1.5 per cent last week.
The RBA Governor, Phillip Lowe, confirmed that inflation was beginning to move in line with expectations, meaning that spending is gradually picking up throughout the economy. This resulted in the Australian Dollar increasing marginally against the US Dollar.
The NRA hopes that this bodes well for the March rounds of ABS figures for retail trade that will be released later today.
This week the Federal Government will hand down the 2017-18 budget. The NRA hopes that the budget delivers positive measures to stimulate the retail sector, as well as providing business certainty for the 12 months ahead.
It will also be the first budget handed down since the 2016 election and the formation of the new Senate. Whatever measures are announced in the budget, we hope that the government and the senate crossbenchers are able to work constructively together. Legislative paralysis is not only frustrating for our elected representatives, but can also have a negative impact on consumer confidence which is certainly not in the interests of retail.
I can also confirm that I will soon be meeting with Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister, Senator the Hon James McGrath. I will be discussing with the Senator his role in seeking to reduce government red tape, something which is of direct relevance to the retail sector.
Any move to reduce the burden of red tape and regulation for retailers is something that will always receive in principle support from the NRA and we look forward to engaging with Senator McGrath on this issue.
If there are any specific red tape measures that you would like to see the NRA discuss with Senator McGrath, please let us know.
Have a great week.