Retail sales bonanza continues with no end in sight

By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: Retail sales show no signs of slowing with the release of the June Retail Trade figures today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics highlighting a continued upward trend in consumer spending.

According to the ABS, in original terms, Australian consumer spending increased by 0.5 per cent in June 2007 compared with May 2007. Chains and other large retailers increased by 1.8 per cent, while the ‘smaller’ retailers sampled decreased by 1.2 per cent.

Total Australian turnover increased by 6.4 per cent in June 2007 compared with June 2006. Chains and other large retailers increased sales by 7.5 per cent, while smaller retailers increased by 5.0%.

Analysts are predicting the strong retail sales figures to continue up to Christmas. With petrol prices remaining fairly static in recent weeks, housing approvals rising, inflation rising and the lowest unemployment levels in 33 years, analysts believe that the Reserve Bank are likely to increase the benchmark interest rate to 6.5 percent on August 8.

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