Retail sales continue to strengthen - 13th edition of the AFGC CHEP Retail Index

April 28, 2014

The13th AFGC CHEP Retail Index, released today, shows year-on-year growth in retail sales continued to lift in the March quarter with a rise of 5.8 per cent, and further strengthening is expected.

Retail sales continue to strengthen

The Index was also 5.8 per cent higher in March 2014 compared to March 2013 with a turnover over of $23.01 billion.

Growth in the Index is expected to lift further with an increase of 6.6 per cent over the 12 months to May 2014 when retail trade turnover is forecast to reach $23.62 billion. Year-on-year retail trade growth for the June quarter is also expected to be 6.6 per cent.

Year on year growth

Australian Food & Grocery Council CEO Gary Dawson said: “It’s encouraging that retail performance has improved across all sectors since mid-2013 – from 1.9 per cent growth in June 2013 to 5.9 per cent in February 2014. Retail sales growth is now at its strongest for more than four years.”

While labour income growth has been weak and jobs growth modest, low interest rates and falls in the value of the Australian dollar are providing stimulus to the Australian economy.

Latest retail data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics have confirmed that retail sales picked up strongly late last year with retailers benefiting from an extended period of low interest rates. Indeed, retailers experienced an even better sales result in the year to December 2013 than forecast in Edition 12 of the AFGC CHEP Retail Index.

CHEP Australia & New Zealand President, Phillip Austin, said: “The continued strength in retailer sales over the past two quarterly results suggests a more stable and certain view of economic conditions. Expectations for the next quarter indicate a resilience in Australian retail supply chains and sales results.”

The next AFGC CHEP Retail index will be released in late July 2014.

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