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Christmas Retail Sales Forecast Hits $50bn Prediction

Roy Morgan’s Christmas retail sales forecast of $50.073bn was spot on coming in within 0.1 per cent of the actual result of $50.019bn.

Its annual retail sales forecast undertaken in conjunction with the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) predicted total retail sales growth of 2.8 per cent to $50.073 billion for the most important retailing period of the year between November 15 – December 24, 2017.

Retail sales growth out-paced inflation in the year to December which the ABS reports at an annual rate of 1.9 per cent and was impressively strong when one considers consumer confidence was slightly lower than a year ago – averaging 115.0 in November/December 2017 compared to 115.9 for November/December 2016.

There was growth across all six categories measured with spending on hospitality growing the fastest, by 4.1 per cent to $7.123 billion, while the slowest growing category was department stores for which spending increased 0.6 per cent to $2.945 billion.

Analysing retail sales figures on a state-by-state basis shows it was South Australia, which grew fastest with retail sales growing 5.1 per cent to $3.326 billion while growth was slowest in post-mining boom Western Australia, up just 0.3 per cent to $5.4 billion.

Michele Levine, CEO at Roy Morgan says, “Australians spent an impressive $50.019 billion in the weeks leading up to Christmas across the categories of Food ($20.157 billion), Household goods ($8.754 billion), Hospitality ($7.135 billion), Clothing, footwear & accessories ($3.912 billion), Department stores ($2.945 billion) and other retailing ($7.118 billion).

“The ability to predict such varying results as Australians’ retail spending habits in the run-up to Christmas, or the results of a national postal poll on a contentious question, is contingent upon Roy Morgan utilising the correct methodology and sampling techniques to interview a sample of Australians and draw an accurate picture on a wide variety of topics.”



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