Retail spending growth to slow: AFGC CHEP Retail Index

After a stronger-than-expected Christmas trading period, retail spending growth will slow heading into 2015, according to the sixteenth edition of the AFGC CHEP Retail Index.

The Index was 4.4 percent higher in the December quarter of 2014 compared to the December quarter of 2013; however, growth in the Index is expected to slow over the first few months of 2015, to 2.5 per cent over the 12 months to February 2015 and 2.4 per cent over the 12 months to the March quarter 2015.

Christmas trading saw an increase in retail sales of 4.5 per cent year-on-year in the month of December, with turnover of $23.75 billion; however, growth in February 2015 is less robust at 2.5 per cent year-on-year, with turnover retracting to $23.6 billion, between December and February.

ABS Retail Trade trend data showed evidence of a slowing in the rate of growth in the second half of 2014. The latest data shows that year-on-year growth in nominal retail trade was 4.5 per cent over the year to November 2014.

The sales result for retailers over the year to November 2014 was stronger than the forecast in the previous AFGC CHEP Retail Index. The growth of 4.5 per cent over the year to November 2014 compares to the prediction of 3.2 per cent growth.

Australian Food & Grocery Council (AFGC) Chief Executive, Gary Dawson, said: “The lower Australian dollar is positive news for Australian food and grocery exporters; however, the domestic market remains tough for manufacturers, given below average consumer sentiment and the highest unemployment rate in more than a decade. Manufacturers and retailers will be hoping the fall in oil prices and low interest rates are sustained, leading to improved consumer confidence in 2015.”

President of CHEP Asia-Pacific, Phillip Austin, said: “While growth in the AFGC CHEP Retail Index indicates challenges ahead for retail trade, we believe through taking an innovative approach to the supply chain, CHEP can support retailers’ and manufacturers’ growth strategies. This will be a focus for us in 2015, as we collaborate with industry to bring new innovations to market to improve the way products move through the supply chain to the end consumer.”

The AFGC CHEP Retail Index is a collaborative project between the AFGC and CHEP Australia, powered by Deloitte. The Index uses CHEP transactional data based on pallet movements and is a lead indicator of ABS Retail Trade data.


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