ABS April trade figures reveal the Federal Budget missed the opportunity to effectively address unrelenting pressures confronting retail owners.

National Retail Association Interim CEO Lindsay Carroll said April retail trade had gone backwards in real terms, given that the 0.1 per cent increase to sales can be tied to inflated prices.

“The 0.7 and 0.5 per cent fall in clothing, footwear, and personal accessory retailing, and food retailing respectively, reveal dire spending constraints on households,” Ms Carroll said.

“Retailers were hoping for a shot of relief from the Federal Budget to float them through following months of low consumer spending, only to be underwhelmed by the provisions made for business owners.

“The subsidised energy costs and instant asset write-off extensions, while all welcome, have failed to take into account the high cost environment businesses are currently operating in.

“ABS data also shows that consumers are waiting for cheaper deals, a move many retailers can’t afford. This has led to reduced inventory, which creates a knock-on effect for suppliers.

“Policy makers need to consider the contribution of retail owners to the Australian economy and help create business environments that nurture investment and growth,” she said.

Queensland and Victoria both experienced trading falls of 0.2 and 0.4 respectively.

Ms Carroll said the upcoming Queensland State Budget gives the State’s policymakers the opportunity to support businesses that are doing it tough.

“We urge the Queensland State Government to address skyrocketing insurance premiums, reduce supply chain complexities and subsidise high transportation costs; taking excess pressure off Queensland businesses.”


The National Retail Association represents more than 60,000 stores across Australia. It has been serving businesses in the retail and fast-food sectors for close to 100 years.

For more information, contact the National Retail Association media unit on 0467 792 013.