Retail turnover edges up in July

Retail turnover rose a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent in July, much to the relief of many small businesses, after registering consecutive falls in the two months previous.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Retail Trade Figures, turnover was up 0.5 percent last month, after falling 0.1 percent in June and 0.6 percent in May.

Turnover was up 0.8 percent in Food retailing, 1.1 percent in Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services and1.2 percent in Department stores. It remained unchanged in Household goods retailing and fell most sharply in Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-4.2 percent).

All states and territories except Queensland registered a turnover rise; rising 1 percent in New South Wales, 0.8 percent in South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory, 0.7 percent in Western Australia and 0.1 percent in the ACT.

Turnover fell 0.2 percent in Queensland, whilst trend turnover rose 1.5 percent in July 2011 compared with the same month last year.

Despite these slightly encouraging figures, The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is calling to the RBA to continue holding rates in the face of continued poor consumer confidence.

Retailers are acutely aware of consumer struggles as the reason for poor trade and are not only calling for a drop in interest rates as the only way forward, but also actively seeking assistance for the retail sector,” ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said.

According to Zimmerman, retailers aren’t expecting a break during the spring season but a continuation of over 18 months worth of “dismal trading conditions.”

“A weakening global economy is sending vibrations through the supply chain, affecting other industries such as manufacturing before filtering down to retail.”

“Unfortunately retailers lose out as the point of contact with a consumer who is struggling with mortgage stress, utility costs and prognostics of reduced discretionary income as a result of the proposed carbon tax and regulatory change.”

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