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Consumers Optimistic, Despite Inflated Prices: Wesfarmers Boss

Wesfarmers CEO Rob Scott told attendees at a business conference this morning that consumers are showing “confidence” and “a sense of optimism” as retail reopens.

This is despite this morning’s consumer confidence survey from Westpac which showed the opposite, with sentiment at its lowest since September, 2020.

“Unemployment is low, household savings are high and I think we can look forward to the rest of this year, domestically at least, with a growing sense of confidence,” he said.

“Across most of Australia as restrictions ease and markets start to open up, we are seeing increased business and consumer activity.

“There has been a real pick up recently as people start to look forward with a sense of optimism about the future.

Scott did note that many businesses were being forced to pass on rising costs to the consumer, who in turn, were being more price conscious.

“We are seeing more cost pressure now than we were six months ago,” he said.

“For some of our businesses which are involved in the manufacture and sourcing of products, which will turn up on our shelves in six to nine months’ time.

“We are seeing pressure that will flow through for the rest of the year. If your costs are going up, you will find a way to try and pass those on.

“This has been quite an unusual period through Covid with high levels of household savings.

“Going forward, value will become more important.”



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