Last week the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) increased the cash rate by 25 basis points from 0.1 per cent to 0.35 per cent. This rate rise is the first since November 2010 – and, in my opinion, a hasty and heavy-handed approach to the inflationary pressures on the economy.

While the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) retail trade report for April 2022 showed a 0.9 per cent increase from spending in March, it’s a perfect storm for the retail industry at the moment. Last month was almost entirely encompassed by the federal election, and the April strength in retail turnover was driven by food retailing and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services. With this in mind, we urged the RBA to wait for May and June figures for a full story before moving again on interest rates – this did not happen.

We know fuel, energy and flooding has impacted your costs, and we’re awaiting the decision from the Fair Work Commission on the annual minimum wage review over the next few days.  We are currently liaising with the new Labor government to pass on our member feedback and ensure that everyday Australians have more cash in their back pockets and more confidence to spend.

On another note, the NSW Government recently banned the use of single-use plastic shopping bags across the state. Our Policy and Advocacy team has been hard at work over the past several months engaging with retailers on the ground with our education campaign. The transition has been quite smooth, but we still urge any of our members in NSW who have questions to phone the NRA Single-Use Plastics hotline on 1800 844 946.