Pulseless Australian Retail Turnover for June

The latest from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the local retail industry didn’t make any ground for June 2013.

The latest figures released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that Australian retail turnover remained unchanged (0.0 percent) for June 2013, following a rise of 0.2 percent the month previous.

Further indication of the tough environment our local retailers are operating in, these latest figures cement a perspective of an industry treading water, as trade continues to be muted by a combination of low consumer confidence, offshore competition and uncertain economic environs.

While turnover rose among cafés, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.9 percent), household goods retailing (0.3 percent) and food retailing (0.1 percent), these were offset by falls across ‘other’ retailing (-1.1 percent), clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.2 percent).

Department stores appear to be a bellwether category, reflecting the overall trend at 0.0 percent growth.

Yearly growth rates are also lacklustre, with retail turnover rising to a total of 1.1 percent to June 2013 (seasonally adjusted), compared to June 2012.

Meanwhile, Australian Retailers Association (ARA) Executive Director Russell Zimmerman has said these stagnant figures are a sign that the sector is facing “significant challenges”, calling on the Government to provide an answer.

“Overall, the unchanged figures may be a reflection of consumer nervousness in discretionary spending due to instability in government,” Zimmerman said. “It is evident there is a lack of consumer confidence in the whole economic situation in Australia and the federal election couldn’t come soon enough.

“Retailers are facing significant cost pressure at the moment, including coming to grips with the fourth transition of the modern award penalty rate, increases to minimum wage and increases to superannuation of .25 percent as of July 1. It is time for the Government or alternative government to step in and increase consumer confidence by showing strong economic leadership and reform.”

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