Federal Budget must deliver a solid plan to build business confidence

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the seasonally adjusted rise (0.3 percent increase) in monthly retail trade figures (month-on-month) reported today by the ABS followed a 0.7 percent rise in February 2015.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said although today’s figures were modest, year on year growth for March is looking strong at 4.4 percent.

“Despite shaky levels of consumer confidence over the past year, retail trade figures continue to increase which is a great sign for the industry.

“March marked the beginning of autumn, with many retailers seeking to clear the last of their summer stock and start promotion of their new winter stock. As a result, department stop retailing (3.8 percent) and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (2.2 percent) enjoyed a boost in sales.

“In seasonally adjusted terms, the ARA was pleased to see rises in Queensland (0.7%), New South Wales (0.3%), Victoria (0.2%), South Australia (0.3%) and Tasmania (0.5%). Unlike in previous months, however, there were three states which experienced falls including Western Australia (-0.3%), the Australian Capital Territory (-0.5%) and the Northern Territory (-0.8%).

“With retailers now looking ahead to the Federal Budget to ensure small business tax cuts are being delivered in order to boost their bottom lines, it is imperative that the Government does all that it can to stimulate business and jobs growth.

“While a reduction in interest rates (announced yesterday by the RBA) is always welcomed, this alone is not enough to ensure the success of the retail industry over the next few months. Low interest rates are acting to support borrowing and spending, however, business growth must still be supported with a solid plan in the upcoming Federal Budget,” Mr Zimmerman said.

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

Department stores (3.8%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (2.2%), Food retailing (0.4%), Other retailing (0.1%), Household goods retailing (-1.0%) and Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-1.1%). Total sales (0.3%).                 

Queensland (0.7%), Tasmania (0.5%), New South Wales (0.3%), South Australia (0.3%), Victoria (0.2%), Western Australia (-0.3%), Australian Capital Territory (-0.5%) and Northern Territory (-0.8%). Total sales (0.3%).

YEAR ON YEAR RETAIL GROWTH (March 2014 – March 2015 seasonally adjusted)

Household goods retailing (7.9%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (5.9%), Department stores (5.1%), Food retailing (4.0%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (2.6%) and Other retailing (2.1%). Total sales (4.4%).

South Australia (6.2%), New South Wales (5.0%), Victoria (4.7%), Tasmania (4.5%), Australian Capital Territory (4.1%), Queensland (3.5%), Western Australia (3.3%) and Northern Territory (-0.2%). Total sales (4.4%).

For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman call: The ARA Media Line T: 0439 612 556  E:






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