In Markets

Australian retail sales lift 0.4% in August

Australia's November online sales surge most in three years

Australian retail sales increased for the month of August, signalling a slight improvement in the nation’s struggling retail landscape.

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Following a poor showing in July, Australia’s August retail turnover inched forward by 0.4 per cent nationally, according to a report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) last week.

The National Retail Association (NRA), Australia’s official retail body, said that there are positive signs that the state of retail is improving following on the back on interest rate and tax cuts.

“The August results are a big improvement on July, with rises in turnover recorded across all industries bar one,” said NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said that the August results.

By retail channel, online sales made up 6.2 per cent of all monthly revenues, an increase on the August 2018 figure of 5.6 per cent.

By region, every state and territory except the Northern Territory and Western Australia recorded rises in sales.

Lamed went on to indicate that the Australia’s recent personal income tax cuts and reductions in interest rates were starting to have a positive impact.

“Several economic levers have been pulled in recent months – such as cuts to income tax and interest rates – to lift retail out of its slumber and today’s results indicate that things may be starting to slowly turnaround,” continued Lamb.

“Retail is certainly not out of the woods and consumer confidence still needs to lift, but the August figures certainly represent a positive sign,” she added.

The news comes as Australia’s Reserve Bank again cut interest rates to just 0.75 per cent in a bid to further encourage household spending.

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“As we head into the Christmas period, the NRA certainly urges Aussies to spend any extra money they’ve received via tax cuts or the drop in interest rates at their local retail outlet,” concluded Lamb.

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