Strong trading results ahead of Mother’s Day, a cut to official interest rates and a positive reception for the Federal Budget have contributed to buoyant retail trade figures for May.
National Retail Association CEO Trevor Evans said the seasonally adjusted result of a 0.3 per cent increase in retail trade in May showed this year’s Federal Budget had been far better received by households and shoppers than the 2014 effort.
“We know that a lot of the commentary and speculation around last year’s Budget prompted shoppers to keep their wallets in their pockets for a couple of months, until they realised the Budget would have minimal influence on their circumstances,” Mr Evans said.
“That’s why we were pleased to see a positive public and media response to this year’s Budget. This positive sentiment, coupled with the incentives for small business to invest in capital equipment, has prompted a surge in spending in the latter part of May.
“We can expect to see these results carried through into the June trade figures as well.
“Members have also told us that they had a strong sale period in the early part of May, driven by Mother’s Day gift spending.
“And May also saw the Reserve Bank cut the cash rate for a second time this year, which has also helped boost confidence for consumers and households.
“Taken together, these factors have produced a very welcome continuation of the modest but steady growth in retail trade over the last 18 months.”
The ABS reported increases in food retailing (0.7 per cent), household goods retailing (0.9 per cent) and other retailing (0.3 per cent), in seasonally adjusted terms. These were offset by falls in department stores (-1.4 per cent), clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.8 per cent) and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-0.2 per cent).
New South Wales continues to be the strongest state, with growth of 0.7 per cent, seasonally adjusted. Queensland (0.2 per cent), Western Australia (0.2 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (0.9 per cent) and Tasmania (0.6 per cent) also grew during the Month. South Australia and the Northern Territory were unchanged, will turnover in Victoria declined by 0.1 per cent.
“While the continued growth is welcome, it’s clear that some retail categories are performing better than others, and some areas of the country still have some catching up to do,” Mr Evans said.
“Nonetheless, we welcome the positive results and look forward to seeing them continue.”
CEO Trevor Evans is available for comment, contact the NRA media unit 07 3240 0152
The NRA is Australia’s largest and most diverse retail industry organisation, and has been representing the interests of the retail, fast food and broader service sector for almost 100 years.