Best year for retailers since the GFC
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Best year for retailers since the GFC

January 08, 2016

Australian retailers are poised to record their strongest year since the Global Financial Crisis, with solid growth in November and positive feedback from December pointing to a very strong finish to 2015.

Australia’s largest and most diverse retail industry organisation, the National Retail Association, today welcomed growth of 4.1 per cent, in trend terms, for the month of November, compared with the previous year’s result.

Further economic modelling by the NRA is pointing to year-on-year growth of close to six per cent in December, making 2015 the best year for Australian retailers since the GFC.

CEO Trevor Evans welcomed the first official evidence of a strong close to the year, saying it accorded with information provided by retailers and the NRA‘s internal modelling.

“Feedback from our members has been that the pre-Christmas sales period was particularly strong, so we would expect to see these strong results repeated again when the December figures are published.

“Based on the information we’ve received in recent weeks, we are now projecting a total spend for the holiday period of around $45.1 billion – an increase of 5.7 per cent compared with 2014.

“While results vary by retail category and by state, generally retailers are saying that 2015 was their best year since before the GFC.

“This is largely due to stronger consumer confidence, strong property values, low interest rates and a more encouraging political and economic environment as 2015 transpired.”

The ABS found that consumer spending grew by 0.4 per cent compared with the previous month, in both trend and seasonally adjusted terms. Turnover rose across all major categories, including Department stores (0.6%), household goods (0.6%), food retailing (0.3 per cent), cafes, restaurants and takeaways (0.2%), and clothing, footwear and personal accessories (0.2%).

Victoria was the strongest performing state, with monthly growth of 0.6 per cent, followed by Tasmania (0.5%), New South Wales (0.4%), South Australia (0.3%), and Queensland, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (all 0.2%).

Mr Evans said the results were good news for business owners and their employees.

“Many retailers rely on the profits they make in the busy final months of the calendar year to help them sustain their businesses and employment levels through the leaner months of the coming year. So this is very welcome news for both bosses and staff.”

The NRA is Australia’s largest and most diverse retail industry organisation, and has been representing the interests of the retail, fast food and the broader service sector for around 100 years.

Trevor Evans is available for interviews. Contact the NRA‘s media unit on (07) 3240 0163

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