Retail shows signs of pick up: Index


New index suggests retail activity picked up through June quarter, moving from annual real growth rate of 2.7 percent over year to March quarter, to 3.1 percent over year to June quarter

May 27, 2011

A new index suggests retail activity picked up through the June quarter, moving from an annual real growth rate of 2.7 percent over the year to the March quarter, to 3.1 percent over the year to the June quarter.

The initial results of the AFGC (Australian Food and Grocery Council) Chep Retail Index, which is based on historical ABS data combined with transactional data on movements of physical and product movements through the supply chain compiled by Chep, is an encouraging sign for retailers, who have struggled to achieve any sales momentum through the GFC recovery.

The Index, however, suggests retailers expect consumers to start loosening the purse strings, with supply of goods on the rise to meet an anticipated increase in demand.

Moving into the new financial year, wage growth may pick up further, consistent with the tightness in the labour market. This will aid consumer spending, though this will be partly offset by price pressures and the risk of higher interest rates.

Retailers also face the added pressures of the high Australian dollar and strong competition in the grocery retail market.

The new Index will be released quarterly, up to two weeks prior to the release of official retail sales data from the ABS. The next release is set for late July.

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