Bigger spend by consumers
RETAIL sales have risen for a second straight month in May, raising hopes of a recovery in consumer sentiment that could help lift Australia’s weak economic growth.
Retail spending rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.6 per cent in the month to $ 26.08 billion, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
That beat market expectations of a modest 0.2 per cent rise, and follows an increase of 1.0 per cent in April, the biggest jump in monthly spending in 2 ½ years.
The sustained gains raise the question on whether the slump in Australia’s retail industry is over, CBA senior economist Gareth Aird said.
Household goods spending rose by a strong 2.2 per cent, spread across gains in electrical and electronic goods, furniture, housewares, hardware, and building and garden supplies. BENDIGO and Adelaide Bank is raising rates on interest- only mortgages, following similar moves by the major lenders.
The regional lender will raise variable interest rates by 0.3 per cent for its existing interestonly owner- occupier customers and by 0.4 per cent for its interest- only investors, effective July 14.
The hit is harder for Bendigo’s new business customers seeking interest- only variable rates, who will find increases up to 80 basis points, or 0.8 per cent with fixed interest- only rates increasing by 0.1 per cent to 0.4 per cent.
Bendigo’s new business investment principal and interest variable rates will go down by 0.15 per cent.
The decision comes as the Reserve Bank held its benchmark interest rate at the record low of 1.5 per cent for the eleventh straight month.