Improvements not expected.
Retail turnover remained unchanged for the first month of the new financial year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Household goods fell 1.2% and department stores declined 1.9% in July.
NRA CEO, Dominique Lamb said it was important that consumer confidence is restored as the sector prepares to head into the Christmas trade period.
“There’s no need to hit the panic button just yet, but the July figures released by the ABS are certainly very ordinary,” Lamb said.
“Retail had enjoyed three consecutive months of growth, so it is very disappointing to see the figures flat line for July. Consumer confidence is a little fragile at present, so the NRA would urge the RBA to keep interest rates low for the time being.
“Within the next six months there are state elections in both Victoria and New South Wales, not to mention a federal poll also taking place between now and May 2019. We know people spend less during election periods due to the uncertainty, so we can’t get complacent with the Christmas trade period just around the corner.”