Today’s retail trade figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show an increase in consumer confidence off the back of the change of Prime Minister and Treasurer, the National Retail Association (NRA) said.
NRA CEO Trevor Evans said the August figures, which showed a 0.3 per cent increase in trend terms and a 0.4 per cent increase seasonally adjusted, showed positive growth across the retail sector.
“Today’s figures signal renewed consumer and business confidence associated with the new Prime Minister midway through the month,” Mr Evans said.
“After consumer spending picked up in August, indicating consumers were feeling more confident and cashed up than they were earlier in the year, it’s pleasing to see this trend continue through September.
“We expect that the October figures will reveal a further positive response to Prime Minister Turnbull’s first full month in office. This momentum is important for retailers as they head into the critical Christmas period.”
The ABS found that consumer spending grew in the following retail categories: clothing, footwear and personal accessories (0.2 per cent), cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.9 per cent), household goods retailing (1.0 per cent), food retailing (0.3 per cent) and other retailing (0.4 per cent). Department stores fell 2.0 per cent.
In seasonally adjusted terms, there was growth in New South Wales (0.3 per cent), Victoria (0.8 per cent), Western Australia (0.5 per cent), Tasmania (0.8 per cent) and the Northern Territory (1.0 per cent). There were falls in Queensland (-0.3 per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (-0.1 per cent).
Mr Evans said the outlook for retailers was improving heading into Christmas.
“Today’s figures are telling that the industry is gaining momentum as it heads into the busiest trading period of the year,” Mr Evans said.
“We can expect to see a further increase in retail spend in the month of October, as consumers hit the shops in preparation for Christmas.”
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 almost 100 years.
NRA CEO Trevor Evans is available for interviews. Contact the NRA’s media unit on (07) 3221 9222.