The three consecutive rate rises handed down by the Reserve Bank have done little to dampen consumer spending, latest retail sales figures reveal.
Australian retail sales rose a moderate 0.3 percent in October, with consumers spending more at department stores and in cafes.
Department stores reported the largest growth in the month with sales rising 1.9 percent, albeit coming off a 2.3 percent drop the previous month. Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services grew by a further 1.1 percent in October, but food retailing eased 0.1 percent for a second month in a row.
ICAP economist Adam Carr said that, while he expected a higher result, generally, consumers are not concerned about the recent rate rise.
“Income growth is solid and consumer confidence is high. When you look at it, there are very few headwinds to the consumer,” he said.
JPMorgan chief economist Stephen Walters said the period retailers will really have to focus on is over the summer period.
“Importantly, over the summer break will be the anecdotal evidence from the retailers on how their sales are going and what the store traffic’s been like,” he said.
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