New iPhone 6 Drives Massive CE Growth For Retailers
The ABS said that electrical and electronic goods retailing grew by 9.2 per cent, largely due to the release of the Apple iPhone 6, spending on household goods drove the turnaround, climbing 4.1 per cent while the overall market grew 1.2 per cent in September.
“This is definitely a stronger number than anyone was pencilling in,” said JP Morgan senior economist Ben Jarman.
“We’ll have to wait and see if those sort of gains can be sustained going into Christmas.”
Scott Browning Marketing Director at JB Hi Fi said that the market has defiantly picked up, we are now dotting the eyes and crossing the t’s so that we can maximise the momentum running into Christmas” he said.
The household goods category experienced its biggest monthly rise since the stimulus payments of 2009.
The iPhone 6 release made the result something of an outlier, Mr Jarman said, and it was unlikely those gains would be repeated next month.
“It does argue for a bit of payback in the next result,” he said. “We’re still thinking underlying trend is going to be subdued.”
New South Wales led the states, spending 1.7 per cent more than in August in seasonally-adjusted terms, with Victoria and Western Australia posting 1.3 per cent growth. Spending in the ACT grew by 1.9 per cent, but declined 0.6 per cent in the Northern Territory.
The quarterly results also marked an improvement on last year: sales grew 1 per cent in the September quarter, compared to the same period in 2013.
Westpac senior economist Matthew Hassan said residual momentum appeared strong across the categories, but retailers should still be cautious ahead of the Christmas season.
“It’s definitely a better start [but] consumer sentiment’s still not really there for a bumper Christmas season,” he said.
“The fact that it may have been a product-related jump in electronics takes the gloss off a little bit, but it does suggest there’s still OK momentum.”
Mr Hassan also questioned the extent of the iPhone’s influence on the overall result.