Australia's retail sales inch forward in July

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) retail trade figures for July inched forward 0.3 per cent, signalling a steady start for the industry in the second-half of the year.

Australia's retail sales rose 0.3 per cent in July - Reuters

For the month of July, the Australian turnover figure rose in line with the steady 0.4 per cent increases recorded in May and June of 2017, said the ABS. 

“The trend estimate rise of 0.3 per cent for July shows that retail is in a stable state at the moment, but we are expecting that to pick up as we head towards Christmas,” said National Retail Association (NRA) Chief Executive Officer, Dominique Lamb.

“This is further underlined by the solid 3.5 per cent rise in turnover for Australian retail in July 2017 compared with July 2016.”

Each state and territory recorded a rise in trend terms for July: New South Wales (0.4%), Victoria (0.4%), Queensland (0.2%), Western Australia (0.2%), South Australia (0.2%), Tasmania (0.5%), the ACT (0.3%) and the Northern Territory (0.4%).

The figures come off the back of the Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday opting to keep interest rates on hold at a record low 1.5 per cent.

“The RBA’s decision to keep interest rates on hold at a record low 1.5 per cent should give retail the kick along it needs as we approach Christmas,” said Lamb.

“From retail’s perspective, it is important that consumer confidence is as high as possible and low interest rates certainly help to foster that.”

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