Last week the ABS released the August retail trade report. Although the results were slightly below forecasts, it was still a much improved set of figures from those for July.
Across the country turnover increased by 0.4 per cent, with all but one industry seeing a pickup from the previous month. Meanwhile, every state and territory, with the exceptions of the Northern Territory and Western Australia, saw an increase in sales.
While retail is by no means out of the woods just yet, it is a positive sign as we now start to countdown the weeks until the Christmas trade period begins. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, there are several forecasters arguing that the benefit of the personal income tax cuts would not be realised until the September quarter and hopefully this proves to be true.
And it was also interesting to see the Reserve Bank yet again slash interest rates last week. Few would have ever predicted that the official cash rate would drop to as low as 0.75 per cent, but it does indicate how seriously the RBA is in trying to lift consumer spending.
Given we’re now less than six weeks away from the official start of the Christmas trade period anything that attempts to boost consumer spending is most appreciated. Retail has not experienced the greatest of rides throughout 2019, but there are signs of light on the horizon and with Santa Claus soon coming to town the timing could not be better.
All the best for the week ahead!