Zero – that’s how much retail grew in October, ABS figures out today show.
This was following a slight rise of 0.5 per cent recorded in September.
The only industry to rise this month was food retailing (0.9% ).
Elsewhere there were falls in household goods retailing (-1.6 per cent), other retailing (-0.5 per cent), cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services.
ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said the RBA’s decision to cut interest rates in October wasn’t passed on swiftly enough by the banks, and the rate hold in November was unsustainable for consumers as they suppressed their spending.
“It’s clear from the figures that there needs to be an interest rate cut tomorrow in order to stimulate consumers and ensure any available cash is put into their pockets in the lead up to Christmas.”
“From the ABS October figures, the ARA has calculated 3.1 percent growth compared to October last year, which is further evidence that retail growth has come to a grinding halt, ” Zimmerman added.
The ARA blamed the fall on household pressured by increased costs associated with utilities and the carbon tax introduction.
“A rate cut tomorrow might be just what consumers need to be able to get out there and start their Christmas shopping,” said Zimmerman.
The ARA estimates shoppers will spend $41.2 billion on presents before Christmas Day, a 3.9 percent rise on last year’s spend.