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Consumer spending down, stimulus needed

Signalling that the stimulus package cash bonus is needed now more than ever, retail sales have taken a dive, falling two percent in February across all segments.

Consumers are keeping their money close to them, with department store figures down by almost 10 percent, while food retailing has eased 0.4 percent, and household goods spending declined 3.8 percent.

ANRA CEO Margy Osmond believes the second round of stimulus package payments will inject some much needed cash into the retail industry.

“A second and larger round of cash bonuses is now underway. Judging by the effects of the first stimulus package, we believe the second package may inject about $2.4 billion into the retail sector over the next four months.”

However, the packages are in doubt, with legal academic Bryan Pape challenging the payments in the High Court claiming they “exceed the government’s taxation powers”, and are simply a “gift.”

Court proceedings have continued throughout the week, with the High Court expected to rule on Friday.

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