Christ­mas cheer for re­tail­ers

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS | BUSINESS -

QUEENS­LAND re­tail sales led the na­tion in the lat­est round of spend­ing statis­tics, as re­tail­ers surge into the makeor- break Christ­mas sea­son.

Oc­to­ber’s re­tail trade fig­ures showed sales climbed 1.1 per cent in the Sun­shine State, well out­pac­ing the na­tional fig­ure of 0.3 per cent growth, sea­son­ally ad­justed.

Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try Queens­land’s Dan Petrie said the state’s per­for­mance was the best month- on­month re­sult since April 2017.

“( And) the per­for­mance of re­tail­ers in the last two months has been a stand- out next to com­pa­ra­ble states,” he said.

“We have seen a boost to in­ven­tory lev­els which au­gurs well for the Christ­mas pe­riod, with the green shoots fi­nally start­ing to ap­pear for the Queens­land econ­omy.”

Cloth­ing, footwear and per­sonal ac­ces­sory re­tail­ing was the strong­est cat­e­gory na­tion­ally, post­ing 2.6 per cent growth. In com­par­i­son, cafes, restau­rants and take­away food spend­ing slipped 0.9 per cent.

Na­tional Re­tail As­so­ci­a­tion deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive Lind­say Car­roll said the re­sult was en­cour­ag­ing.

“Re­tail busi­ness own­ers rely very heav­ily on the pre- Christ­mas and Box­ing Day sales pe­ri­ods to sus­tain them dur­ing the qui­eter parts of the year,” Ms Car­roll said.

“This is also the time when the re­tail sec­tor is able to cre­ate ad­di­tional jobs or pro­vide more hours to ex­ist­ing work­ers – that can only hap­pen if the cash reg­is­ters are ring­ing in the lead- up to Christ­mas.

“So al­though we would ideally like to see ( na­tional) monthly in­creases of 0.4 or even 0.5 per cent, we wel­come the fact these num­bers are trend­ing in the right di­rec­tion.”

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