Steady cash rate supports $45b pre-Christmas retail sales

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) decision to keep the cash rate on hold at 2.5 percent will support the retail industry to achieve $45 billion in pre-Christmas sales, representing a 4.3 percent increase year on year.

Peak retail industry body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA)  Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said the current stability of interest rates has translated into a promising start to pre-Christmas trading.

“While retailers didn’t receive their Christmas wish of an interest rate cut today, the industry remains optimistic that the festive trading period is well and truly underway.

“With only three weeks until Santa arrives, foot traffic has increased in shopping precincts across Australia and retail tills are ringing.

“It seems the stable cash rate has encouraged consumers to let go of their purse strings a little earlier than usual this year, but in order for sales to continue building momentum as Christmas approaches (and for the retail industry to return to a growth of six percent) the Federal Government and RBA must do all that they can to ensure that retail trade is fully supported as consumers start their holiday shopping.

“This time last year the ARA forecasted $42.2 billion would go through retail tills during the pre-Christmas trading period and this figure was later confirmed at an actual pre-Christmas spend of $43 billion. The ARA’s forecast was almost bang on, so it’s fairly safe to say the retail industry is optimistic for a cracker Christmas this year,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Since 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has been the peak industry body representing Australia’s $265 billion retail sector, which employs over 1.2 million people. The ARA ensures retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 5,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. Visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.                                                                        

-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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