Australian retail sales stalled in the month of July 2019, in a bad sign for the sector according to the National Retail Association (NRA).
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), retail turnover dropped by 0.1 per cent for the first month of the financial year.
NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said the July 2019 sales slump did not bode well for a sector that has struggled throughout much of 2019.
“The July (2019) results are not good news for retailers, we were hopeful of far better figures following a strong sales performance for June (2019),” Ms Lamb said.
“A drop in turnover shows that consumer confidence remains stubbornly low, despite measures such as the personal tax cuts and reduction in interest rates.
There were falls across four industries – Cafes, restaurants and takeaway services (-0.6 per cent), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-1.0 per cent), Other retailing (-0.4 per cent), and Department stores (-0.2 per cent).
“It’s important during this period that people support retailers, particularly local small businesses, as we begin the march towards Christmas,” Ms Lamb said.
“Retail is one of the largest sectors in Australia and the biggest employer of young people, so it’s importance to the overall economy cannot be overstated.
“The NRA urges Aussie shoppers to not shy away from spending any extra money they’ve received in tax cuts or the drop in interest rates at their local retail outlet.”