Australian Easter spending rise lags inflation

(Source: Bigstock)

Australian consumers forked out $8.1 million over the Easter trading period, according to Westpac DataX research, reported in conjunction with the Australian Retailers Association (ARA).

Spending grew modestly at 4.5 per cent over last year – less than the 7.3 per cent year-on-year inflation rate.

This year’s Easter sales were driven by food retailing contributing $3.6 billion – up 8.6 per cent. Sales from cafes, restaurants, and of takeaways rose 4.6 per cent, followed by other retailing at 3.9 per cent and clothes, footwear and personal accessories at 2.8 per cent.

Department-store sales were strong with 7.4 per cent growth, however sales of household goods fell by 2.5 per cent.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra described the data as a “positive result” amid rising interest rates and a cost-of-living pinch.

“It’s evident that we’re in a discretionary spending slowdown, with homewares and household goods in decline. Shoppers are increasingly conscious of spending less, and shopping strategically to find the best deal and save.”

Jade Clarke, the head of Westpac DataX, said many Australians are under cost-of-living constraints.

“We saw smaller annual growth compared to the corresponding Easter period last year across the board – other than in food retailing (grocery) – a natural result of inflation.”

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