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February figures show end to retail spending slump, according to ABS

April 04, 2018

The spending slump in Australian retail has come to an end following the release of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures for February showing a rise in turnover of 0.6 per cent.

National Retail Association (NRA) CEO Dominique Lamb said the February results are promising for the retail sector, following lackluster sales in December 2017 and January 2018.

“The release of the ABS figures for February show that the spending slump in retail sales has come to an end,” Ms Lamb said.

“In seasonally adjusted terms the figures show a rise of 0.6 per cent and this is welcome news following the lackluster sales recorded in the December and January ABS releases.

“The ABS data show increases across every retail industry, with particularly strong sales in household goods and clothing, footwear, and personal accessories, both recording rises of 1.1 per cent.

“The best news however was the bounce back in sales for department stores, which recorded a rise of 1.5 per cent following three consecutive falls.

The promising results come off the back of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) opting to maintain interest rates at a record low 1.5 per cent.

“It is important that retail does not get complacent following the February figures and the decision by the RBA to keep interest rates on hold should assist in seeing consumer confidence continue to rebound.

“With no state or federal election due between now and November hopefully we will see a stable environment in the months ahead that leads to solid sales figures.

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