Today’s retail trade figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the economy is on the right track, the National Retail Association said.
NRA CEO Trevor Evans said the August figures, which showed a 0.2 per cent increase in trend terms and a 0.4 per cent increase seasonally adjusted, showed strong growth across the retail sector.
“Today’s figures signal renewed consumer confidence across the retail industry,” Mr Evans said.
“After disappointing figures in July saw sales drop for the first time in more than a year, it’s pleasing to see that consumer spending has picked up in August.
“These figures for August indicate that consumers are certainly feeling more confident and cashed up than they were at the start of the new financial year.”
The ABS found that consumer spending grew in all retail categories: clothing, footwear and personal accessories (0.1 per cent), department stores (0.4 per cent), cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.4 per cent), household goods retailing (0.2 per cent), food retailing (0.1 per cent) and other retailing (0.5 per cent).
In seasonally adjusted terms, New South Wales (0.4 per cent), Victoria (0.3 per cent), Western Australia (0.2 per cent), Tasmania (0.1 per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (0.1 per cent). Queensland and South Australia remained unchanged, while the Northern Territory (-0.1 per cent) fell in trend terms.
Mr Evans said the industry should see these strong results continue.
“With the change of Prime Minister and Treasurer sparking an increase in consumer confidence, we can expect to see similar results for the September trade figures,” Mr Evans said.
“We urge Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison to continue focus on economic management, and work toward boosting consumer confidence as we head into the Christmas period.”
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.
Media Contact: NRA media unit on (07) 3240 0163.