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October retail spending rises

Business hand hold rising green graphAustralian retail sales grew 3.9 per cent year on year to $24.6 billion in October 2015, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Household goods and department stores were the big winners in October 2015, with growth of 5.9 per cent and 4.7 per cent respectively.

On a state basis, Tasmania recorded 5.4 per cent growth, closely followed by Victoria at 5.2 per cent, and NSW, 4.2 per cent.

On a month by month basis, October 2015 sales rose 0.5 per cent over September 2015.

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is hopeful this level of growth and beyond will continue into the seasonal shopping period.

“Despite the ARA being disappointed not to have seen a rate cut earlier this week by the Reserve Bank of Australia which would have provided a strong spending incentive in the lead up to Christmas, retailers are well placed to meet our Christmas growth predictions,” said ARA executive director, Russell Zimmerman.

The ARA and Roy Morgan Research predicts Australian shoppers will spend $46.8 billion this Christmas in the six weeks from November 15 to December 24.

“The growth of household goods and department stores bodes well for Christmas. We hope this growth can be replicated in the coming weeks as Australians hit the shops to stock up on Christmas gifts,” Zimmerman said.

Retail Council CEO, Anna McPhee, said three consecutive months of growth is a welcome change for the sector and a good sign for the economy.

“Today’s result is encouraging and the sector is working hard to ensure this sustainable momentum continues into 2016,” she said.

“Month on month growth across most states and territories is another good sign for the economy. Retail activity in Victoria and Tasmania has grown the strongest in the year to October,” said McPhee.

NRA CEO, Trevor Evans, said the outlook was positive heading into the busy Christmas season.

“Today’s figures reveal the retail industry is gaining traction as we head into the thick of the Christmas retail period,” Evans said.

“We can expect to see a further increase in retail spend reflected in the November figures, as consumers hit the shops in preparation for Christmas.”

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