The Australian Retailers Association has pleaded with the Reserve Bank to keep rates on hold this December.
ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ September Retail Trade figures, which recorded an overall growth rate of 0.3 percent for the second month in a row, showed consumers would not cope with higher interest rates.
“Retailers really didn’t need Tuesday’s interest rate rise and we’re pleading with the RBA to keep rates on hold in December when most Australians would be doing their Christmas shopping,” he said.
“September’s trade boost of 2.5 percent for fashion retailers shouldn’t be misinterpreted as cause for celebration – this is only monthly growth from a very low base in August. Compared to the same time last year, fashion retail trade growth is only marginally above inflation at 3.9 percent.
“When we look at year-on-year growth for the whole retail sector, trade is up 3.9 percent from the same time in 2009 but this is still being bolstered by cafes, restaurants and takeaways up 12.4 percent from the same time last year,” he said.