Finance Finance News Retail sales growth at four year high

Retail sales growth at four year high

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Australian retail trade is expected to continue to grow by up to 6.6 per cent this year, as the industry hits a four year high.

Low interest rates and the lower Australian dollar are helping a strengthening industry, with retail performance improving across all sectors since mid-last year.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) and pallet and packaging company CHEP expect growth in consumer spending to rise 6.6 per cent in the 12 months to June.

AFGC CHEP Retail Index, was 5.8 per cent higher in March 2014 than it was in March 2013.

The report said while wages and salary growth has been weak and jobs growth modest, low interest rates and falls in the value of the Australian dollar are helping boost the Australian economy.

AFGC chief executive Gary Dawson said retail sales growth is at a four-year high.

“Its encouraging that retail performance has improved across all sectors since mid-2013,” he said.

The survey’s figures reflect the latest retail spending figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics which had total retail spending up 4.9 per cent in the 12 months to February, seasonally adjusted.

The AFGC/CHEP report said that the only part of the retail sector that is struggling is department stores, which is continuing to lose market share.

The strongest improvement is in household goods, with sales growth of around five per cent and clothing retail up seven per cent.