Trade Resources Industry Views Retail Sales Have Continued to Slow

Retail Sales Have Continued to Slow

Retail sales have continued to slow, with the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) CHEP Retail Index revealing growth of only four per cent year-on-year in the March quarter, slowing to three per cent by the June quarter.

Retail trade turnover was close to $24 billion in March, which was slightly higher than expected due to February interest rate cuts and earlier falls in petrol prices.

The downward trend remains, however, with turnover to soften to $23.9 billion and year-on-year growth slowing to 3.1 per cent for May.

AFGC deputy chief executive Geoffrey Annison said growth in food retailing has eased slightly in recent months, and is now slightly below the growth rate for total retail sales.

“As the Australian economy continues to unwind from the mining boom, a stronger labour market will be needed for strength in retail sales growth to be sustained,” he said.

CHEP Asia-Pacific president Phillip Austin said the trends explain why there is considerable activity across all retailers as they reconfigure their supply chains to optimise for available growth.

“CHEP’s pooling of reusable supply chain and in-store assets across industry and the scale efficiencies generated from our network will play a key role in the transformation of supply chains to meet this growth challenge at the lowest total cost to industry,” Austin said.

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Retail Growth Slows to 3-4%: Supply Chains Must Step up