Winter Blues: Retail Sales Disappoint
Retail sales rose just 0.2% in April, new figures from ABS show.
The slow growth is blamed on unseasonably warm weather in April causing consumers to hold off on purchasing their winter wardrobes and other seasonal household items.
Australian Retailers Association (ARA) Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said the results were disappointing for retailers but was to be expected. March sales rose just 0.1%.
Department stores enjoyed the largest rise – up 3%, food, clothing and personal accessory retailing also rose marginally, although all less than 0.5%.
Sales of household goods fell -1%, but electronic goods revenues rose 0.4%.
The original estimate for the Australian turnover fell 1.9% in April, but seasonally adjusted rose 0.2%.
But May was no better says ARA and growth is said to have remained flat in all sectors, last month.
“It’s being felt across the industry, from those selling winter coats and boots, to the kitchenware’s business, such as soup makers and crockpots, to electric blankets and heaters,” said Zimmerman.
“Even if we get a sharp cold spell, most people will now wait for the sales to buy new items that they may only use for a couple of months. “
According to the Australian Retail Index, Mother’s Day had a positive impact on retail trade but this wasn’t enough to counteract the continued warm weather and lack of consumer confidence following the Federal Budget.
Year on year retail rose 5.7 percent in April, seasonally adjusted.