Retail sales continue solid rise in June
Sales rose 0.7 per cent, seasonally adjusted, month on month in June 2015 to $24.347 billion.
The increase follows a rise of 4.6 per cent year on year and 0.4 per cent month on month in May to $24.1 billion.
Trevor Evans, CEO of the National Retail Association (NRA), said June’s spending rise showed the Budget had sparked the necessary confidence among consumers and business buyers.
“It’s pleasing to see that the measures included in the Budget, particularly the $20,000 instant write-off of purchases for small businesses, have prompted the right response.
“We would expect to see these kinds of results for June each year until 2017, when the budget measures are scheduled to come to an end,” Evans said.
Year on year figures for June 2015 showed gains across all categories, with household goods recording the highest amount of growth with 10.6 per cent; followed by clothing, footwear and personal accessories, 5.8 per cent; café restaurants, and takeaway foods, 5.4 per cent; other retailing, 2.9 percent; and department stores, 2.3 per cent.
By state, the ACT achieved the highest year on year growth at 8.3 per cent; followed by NSW, 6.7 per cent; South Australia, 6.2; Victoria, 5.4 per cent; Queensland, 2.9 per cent;Western Australia; 2.6 per cent; Tasmania, 1.7 per cent; and Northern Territory, 0.7 per cent.
Online retail turnover contributed 3.3 per cent to total retail turnover in original terms.
The figures fall on the same day as the release of the Productivity Commission’s report into workplace relations, which recommends that Sunday penalty rates for retailers should be aligned with Saturday at a rate of 25 per cent.
The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) says penalty rates must be reduced to support further retail growth.
“June’s retail sales growth is very pleasing and is an improvement on the previous month’s positive results of 4.6 per cent, indicating increased confidence in the market,” said Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the ARA.
“The ARA is pleased to see the Productivity Commission has opened up discussion on penalty rates. The ARA, along with a group of retailers is already engaged in a review of the General Retail Industry Award 2010 (GRIA), with the view to reducing costs for retailers who trade on Sundays.
The ARA is arguing for a reduction in Sunday penalty rates from 100 per cent, known as double time, to 50 per cent, or time and half for retail workers.
“The fast food industry and restaurant industry awards are both significantly lower than the GRIA for Sunday penalties at just 50 per cent, and we would like to see the GRIA brought down to match this,” he said.
“We fully support the recommendations of the Productivity Commission’s report and look forward to working with the Government to implement these reforms.”