Retail and Leisure

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) retail trade figures for July 2017 released earlier today show a stable start for the industry in the second-half of the year.

For the month of July, the trend estimate for Australian turnover rose by 0.3 per cent, closely in line with 0.4 per cent increases recorded in May and June of 2017.

National Retail Association (NRA) Chief Executive Officer Dominique Lamb said the figures showed that the industry was in a steady and stable shape.

“The trend estimate rise of 0.3 per cent for July shows that retail is in a stable state at the moment, but we are expecting that to pick up as we head towards Christmas,” Ms Lamb said.

“This is further underlined by the solid 3.5 per cent rise in turnover for Australian retail in July 2017 compared with July 2016.”

Each state and territory recorded a rise in trend terms for July: New South Wales (0.4%), Victoria (0.4%), Queensland (0.2%), Western Australia (0.2%), South Australia (0.2%), Tasmania (0.5%), the ACT (0.3%) and the Northern Territory (0.4%).

“In trend terms, we saw a rise in every single state and territory across the country with Tasmania recording the largest rise with 0.5 per cent,” Ms Lamb said.

The figures come off the back of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) on Tuesday opting to keep interest rates on hold at a record low 1.5 per cent.

“The RBA’s decision to keep interest rates on hold at a record low 1.5 per cent should give retail the kick along it needs as we approach Christmas,” Ms Lamb said.

“From retail’s perspective, it is important that consumer confidence is as high as possible and low interest rates certainly help to foster that.”