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The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) retail trade figures for May 2017 has shown a steady rise of 0.6% turnover, seasonally adjusted.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said that while retail was experiencing a quiet period, the industry remains in steady shape and should continue to pick up following the introduction of reduced Sunday Penalty Rates.

“As we head into the new financial year, the retail sector is performing steadily,” Ms Lamb said.

“With changes to Sunday Penalty Rates having just come into effect, we are hopeful that this will breathe new life into the industry as we begin the march towards Christmas.

“The reforms to retail penalty rates will help boost consumer spending, with benefits ranging from increased operating hours to spreading the wages budget further and allowing more staff to be hired.

“The NRA is confident that the changes in penalty rates will result in stronger turnover results for retail in the coming months.”

Earlier today the Reserve Bank of Australia also left interest rates on hold at an historic low of 1.5%.

“The RBA’s decision to keep interest rates on hold is a wise one and the retail sector welcomes the decision,” Ms Lamb said.

“Maintaining low interest rates over time will steadily see consumer confidence return to the sector and we do expect the market to pick up between now and Christmas.”

According to the ABS, each state rose in trend terms for the month of May, except for Queensland that remained unchanged and the Northern Territory that experienced a small drop of 0.1%.

Household goods retailing and Other retailing recorded the strongest results with both rising by 0.5% in trend terms while Clothing, footwear and personal accessory suffered the largest drop, falling by 0.3% in trend terms.