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“Still Tight”: Retail Sales To Slump

The latest Australian Food and Grocery Council CHEP Retail Index predicts June retail sales will grow 2.5 per cent year-on-year, reporting a turnover of $21.9 billion, when the ABS releases its figures shortly. 

If correct, this will mark the third consecutive quarterly decline in growth for retail. 

This is despite ABS retail figures for May showed turnover rose slightly by 0.1 per cent to $21.8, and 0.2% in April, last. 

Australian Food & Grocery Council CEO, Gary Dawson blamed “subdued” consumer confidence and the uncertainty surrounding the federal election for retails’ shaky performance.  

However, its not all bad news – the Index predicts predicts annual growth will increase by the September quarter to 2.8 per cent, up 0.2 per cent compared to the June quarter. 

The Index forecasts August year-on-year growth will be 2.7 per cent, with turnover increasing to $22 billion.  

Major retailers including JB Hi Fi are set to announce their earnings soon, which will be indicative of the current state of retail spending in Australia. 

Another major electronics retail recently told CN business was “still tight but we are tracking ahead of last year like for like,” when contacted by CN. 
“The retail environment remains challenging” admitted Dawson, adding it is “reflecting subdued consumer confidence. “

“Indications of growth improving later in the year once the federal election is out of the way are encouraging and would see improved consumer spending supporting retail sales growth.”

Recent ABS statistics have shown department stores sales had contracted, and ‘household goods’ retailers posted growth of 1 per cent, although food sectors did show improvements.