Australian retail sales fell last quarter while growth in September was weaker-than-expected, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) this week.
Retail sales rose only 0.2% in September following a 0.4% gain in August, figures from the ABS showed.
Quarterly data showed sales fell 0.1% in inflation-adjusted terms in the three months to September.
Retail volumes have now recorded falls in three of the past four quarters to be down 0.2% from a year ago.
According to the data, the last time annual volumes were this weak was in the early 1990s recession.
The National Retail Association (NRA) has said that the ABS retail trade figures for September demonstrate that more still needs to be done to lift the sector out of its sales slumber.
NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said that while the figures are not disastrous, it was expected that sales would have been higher for the month.
“Measures such as tax cuts and reductions to interest rates have already been implemented, but clearly we’re still yet to see retail sales rebound like we would have hoped,” Lamb said.
“Options that should be explored to stimulate sales include fast-tracking tax cuts due to come into effect in the coming years, government spending and even a further cut by the RBA to the cash rate.
“In the meantime, the NRA certainly urges consumers to not shy away from spending any spare change they have at the shops. In particular, it’s important to back local small businesses who really find it challenging when economic growth stalls.”