Retailers in Australia saw positive results for the month of February, as there was a seasonally adjusted increase of 1.3 per cent in retail turnover.
This is the second increase for retailing in Australia this year, after January saw a 1.2 per cent rise in figures.
Comparing this year’s results with February 2012, there has been a total increase of 4.6 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms – an indication of an improving retail sector.
Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA) spokesperson Margy Osmond stated that the rise has given retailers the best start to the year in over ten years – especially for those in department stores and clothing retail sectors.
“The economic conditions point to improved spending – with house prices on the rise and employment reasonably stable – but retailers have seen this before and retailing has continued to struggle. We remain cautiously optimistic,” said Ms Osmond.
The largest contributor to the February increase was food retailing at 1.1 per cent. Another major contributor was household goods retailing, at 1.6 per cent.
“The cash rate drops at the end of last year are finally beginning to settle in and be factored into Aussie family budgets. Consumers need to feel confident to spend, so we will hold our breath to see if the Reserve Bank of Australia keeps rates coming down to support that confidence,” stated Ms Osmond.
However, Ms Osmond has noted that consumers may be hesitant with their spending in the coming months due to talk of an increase in the cash rate.