Solid retail growth for Queensland in November bodes well for 2016
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) says strong retail sales figures point to promising signs for the new year.
CCIQ Director of Advocacy Nick Behrens welcomed the latest ABS data released today, which showed a strong increase in retail sales in Queensland during November.
Queensland retail sales for the month grew 0.8 per cent – twice the national average of 0.4 per cent (in seasonally adjusted terms).
“On a year-on-year comparison, Queensland retail sales grew by 3.7 per cent, compared to 4.3 per cent nationally,” he said.
“These figures are encouraging for local retailers and consistent with what we are seeing in the small business community.
“This is the strongest growth in retail sales since January 2015 and will help cushion against a relatively soft mid-year trading period.”
Mr Behrens said 2015 retail sales in Queensland were substantially better than 2014 and elevated compared to the lows experienced in recent years.
“Queensland small businesses are telling us that 2015 pre-Christmas sales have been similar to conditions in 2014, which were a significant improvement compared to the relatively poor three Christmas periods prior,” he said.
“The data confirms recent RBA views that accommodative monetary policy settings are stoking stronger discretionary expenditure.
“Lower mortgage repayments through record low interest rates have boosted Queenslanders’ disposable income and, combined with the wealth effect from a resilient residential property market, it has driven solid retail sales.”
Mr Behrens said the data revealed the strongest growth in retail was found in household goods retailing, clothing, personal accessory retailing, cafes, restaurants and takeaway services.
“A lower Australian dollar has meant more Queenslanders holidaying at home, boosting retails sales. The jewel in the crown has been cafes, restaurants and food services recording the highest growth,” he said.
“The outlook for Queensland retailers in 2016 looks bright, despite persistent global market volatility and a Federal Election that may curtail spending.”