The National Retail Association (NRA) is urging the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates following disappointing sales results in November 2023.
Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed that spending in November, which was traditionally the strongest month for retail, grew by just 2.2 per cent compared with the previous year.
Rob Godwin, Director at the NRA, said when inflation and population growth were taken into account, the figure represented a reduction in real terms.
“These are disappointing figures given the growth of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events in recent years.
“The Reserve Bank said they wanted to squeeze spending. Well, spending has been well and truly squeezed.”
Godwin and the NRA predicts that the first quarter of 2024 is going to be the most challenging quarter for businesses in many years.
“For the sake of business owners and their employees, we are urging the Reserve Bank to start cutting interest rates again.”
Pre-Christmas sales saw a 7.5 per cent rise in the sale of households good, while department stores sales increased by 4.2 per cent, followed by clothing, footwear, and personal accessory retailing, which rose 2.7 per cent.
“CBD shopping centres were flooded with people taking advantage of the heavy discounts on offer in November, which slightly benefitted cafes, restaurants, and takeaway food services with sales having increased by 0.4 per cent.
“South Australia experienced the largest increase in retail sales of 2.8 per cent followed by Victoria, which rose by 2.4 per cent while Queensland experienced a 2.2 per cent sales increase,” explained Godwin.