More positive budget buoys retail sales, says ARA

3 July, 2015: Continued growth in Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) May 2015 retail trade figures released today indicate the strength of Australian retail, according to the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), with year on year sales growing 4.6 percent to $24.1 billion.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman attributes the growth to a more palatable Federal budget in May 2015, compared to 2014.

“Consumers appear to have been more confident with the Government’s more conservative budget, and that has played out in the pleasing boost to May 2015 retail trade figures,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“In addition to the more appealing spending conditions, many states have seen an earlier winter in 2015, driving more shoppers into stores for winter essentials such as heating appliances and winter fashions.”

Mr Zimmerman’s observations are backed up by the annual growth of household goods retailing at 9.5 percent, and clothing, personal accessory and footwear retailing, up 8.8 percent.

This is most evident in Canberra, which produced the most buoyant growth for May 2015 of all the states and territories of seven percent. The Northern Territory was the only state to see a decline in annual sales of 1.4 per cent.

“It’s important for retailers to be aware of the annual growth of their industry as opposed to monthly growth, as this is the figure most retail businesses use in their own reporting. Year on year figures provide the most accurate measure of the sector’s performance,” said Mr Zimmerman.

Month on month sales for May 2015 grew by 0.3 percent.

MONTHLY RETAIL GROWTH (April 2015 – May 2015 seasonally adjusted)

Household goods retailing (0.9%), Food retailing (0.7%), Other retailing (0.3%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-0.2%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.8%), and Department stores (-1.4%). Total sales (0.3%).    

Australian Capital Territory (0.9%), New South Wales (0.7%), Tasmania (0.6%), Western Australia (0.2%), Queensland (0.2%), South Australia (0%), Northern Territory (0%) and Victoria (-0.1%).Total sales (0.3%).

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

Household goods retailing (9.5%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (8.8%), Food retailing (4%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (3.2%), Department stores (1.6%) and Other retailing (1.4%). Total sales (4.6%).

Australian Capital Territory (7%), New South Wales (6%), South Australia (5.5%), Victoria (5%), Western Australia (3.2%), Tasmania (3.3%), Queensland (3%) and Northern Territory (-1.4%). Total sales (4.6%).

-ends-

For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman call: The ARA Media Line T: 0439 612 556  E: media@retail.org.au

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