ABS February 2015 retail trade figures released TODAY (0.7 percent increase) – tax reform needed for retail industry to thrive

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the seasonally adjusted rise (0.7 percent increase) in monthly retail trade figures (month-on-month) reported today by the ABS followed a 0.4 percent rise in January 2015.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said today’s sales figures, although modest, were heading in the right direction.

“February is usually a tough trading month for retailers so we are certainly pleased to see month on month retail figures continue to rise. Year on year growth for February is also looking strong at 4.3 percent, despite shaky levels of consumer confidence over the past year.

“February is often the time when consumers ‘get back to reality’ after their Christmas holidays and start looking at their budgets for the year ahead. There may have been a slight drop in discretionary spending, impacting a number of sectors including clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.2%), cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-0.4%) and department stores (-3.2%).        

“Although some sectors experienced sluggish sales, Valentine’s Day was certainly a welcome holiday mid-February for many retailers. Low petrol prices are also likely to have contributed to consumer spending patterns.

“The last of summer promotions across the country also resulted in a boost for many retailers, with the household goods sector enjoying a 1.8 percent increase month on month, with other retailing (1.3%) and food retailing (1.2%) close behind.

“The ARA is also pleased to see all states and territories display rises (in seasonally adjusted terms) from the Northern Territory (2.3%) through to Queensland (0.2%). In terms of year on year growth, New South Wales has been leading retail sales on the back of a strong local economy.

“Retailers are now starting to focus their attention on the upcoming Federal Budget for a confidence boost and will be looking to the discussed small business tax cuts being delivered in order to boost their bottom lines.

“Retailers welcome potential tax cuts, with real tax reform and broadening of the GST base through measures such as collection of GST on overseas goods under $1000 being the best place to start,” Mr Zimmerman said.

MONTHLY RETAIL GROWTH (January 2015 – February 2015 seasonally adjusted)

Household goods retailing (1.8%), Other retailing (1.3%), Food retailing (1.2%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.2%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-0.4%) and Department stores (-3.2%). Total sales (0.7%).                 

Northern Territory (2.3%), South Australia (1.7%), Australian Capital Territory (1.6%), Victoria (0.8%), Tasmania (0.7%), Western Australia (0.7%), New South Wales (0.7%) and Queensland (0.2%). Total sales (0.7%).

 YEAR-ON-YEAR RETAIL GROWTH (February 2014 – February 2015 seasonally adjusted)

 Household goods retailing (9.2%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (5.1%), Food retailing (4.1%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (2.3%), Other retailing (1.3%) and Department stores (-0.6%). Total sales (4.3%).

 New South Wales (5.6%), South Australia (5.1%), Tasmania (4.6%), Victoria (4.4%), Australian Capital Territory (4.3%), Western Australia (3.0%), Queensland (2.7%) and Northern Territory (0.7%). Total sales (4.3%).

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