New information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has shown that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 0.4 per cent in the June 2013 quarter. This follows on from a 0.4 per cent increase seen in the March quarter.

Looking at yearly results, the CPI rose by 2.4 per cent through to June 2013, compared to 2.5 per cent to March.

According to the ABS data, some of the largest rises were seen in medical and hospital services (3.4 per cent), tobacco (three per cent), and furniture (4.8 per cent).

At the same time, results also showed offsetting price falls for automotive fuel (3.1 per cent) and domestic holiday travel and accommodation (four per cent).

This information shows that retailers in Australia are currently choosing to hold back price rises in order to keep day-to-day living pressures off the public’s finances.

Commenting on the statistics, Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA) chief executive officer Margy Osmond stated that the results leave “plenty of room for an August rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)”.

“The retail sector has made a concerted effort to keep the heat off Australian family budgets and today’s figures illustrate this,” said Ms Osmond in a statement.

“Prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages have increased by only 1.1 per cent over the past year and furnishings, household equipment and services rose only marginally, by 0.1 per cent, in the same period. Clothing and footwear prices are actually 0.3 per cent below where they were last year.”

So far this year, the RBA has made one reduction to the official cash rate in order to stimulate positive and sustainable growth in the economy.

The board of the RBA will be making its next cash rate decision on August 6. If it results in another cut, there is the potential for retailing in Australia to benefit from the financial freedom that households will receive.