As retail continues to endure a challenging period, we once again hear the doom and gloom predictions that 2019 will be a bad year for one of the economies largest sectors.

No one is denying that the retail industry is going through a slow period, indeed the entire Australian economy is at the moment.

Next week’s Federal Budget will be key, with measures needed to boost consumer confidence. The personal income taxes being flagged should provide shoppers with more disposable income, but investments in infrastructure can also assist in stimulating the economy. We know from experience that when the construction sector is booming it also leads to increases in retail spending.

History also tells us that consumers spend less during election campaigns due to the uncertainty potential changes of government create. Although we are about to head into a federal election campaign, hopefully a solid budget that addresses the current economic issues facing the country will negate any further slowdown.

Also, New South Wales began 2019 with a state election campaign, compounding uncertainty in the nation’s largest state. But with that vote now out of the way, we should see an uptick in economic activity, particularly given the Berejikilian Government’s extensive investments in infrastructure that will take place over the next four years.

Meanwhile, there was good news on the trading hours front in Adelaide last week. The South Australian Government announced that for the first time ever, suburban retailers in Adelaide will be able to trade on Easter Monday.

This decision brings the state into line with every other Australian jurisdiction and has been a long time coming for many of our South Australian members. Although it is only for the 2019 holiday, we are optimistic that a successful Easter Monday trade will see it become a permanent feature in the city of churches.

I hope you have a great week!