Australian retail sales witness modest growth in September

Sydney, Australia – November 22, 2014: Sydney Arcade shopping mall interior wtih Christmas decorations and Christmas tree

Retail sales rose two per cent year on year to $35.87 billion in September, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data shows.

The data prompted both the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and the National Retail Association (NRA) to urge the Reserve Bank of Australia to keep the current interest rates to encourage more consumer spending.

“The Reserve Bank of Australia’s monetary decision [tomorrow] will be pivotal to the success of retailers during the most important trading time of the year – and we urge the RBA to hold interest rates considering this,” ARA CEO, Paul Zahra, said.

ABS data revealed that cafes, restaurants, and takeaway sales rose 6.1 per cent to $5.45 billion while food sales jumped 3.5 per cent to $14.16 billion.

“Food and takeaway again led the spending growth, and this is consistent with what we’ve seen all year – shoppers are prioritising the essentials in a cost-of-living crisis,” Zahra added.

Other retailing composed of recreational, sporting goods, and cosmetics rose 1.6 per cent to $5.5 billion, while department store sales went up 1.3 per cent to $1.92 billion. Clothing, footwear and personal accessory sales inched 1.1 per cent higher to $3.02 billion.

“Pausing interest rates again this month will allow consumers to spend more freely during the November/December sales period and will set retailers up for the coming silly season,” NRA deputy CEO, Lindsay Carroll, said. “We hope consumer sentiment increases as retail’s biggest sales season approaches, resulting in a positive start for retailers moving into 2024.”

This story first appeared on our sister publication Inside Retail