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Marginal changes in retail prices are helping keep inflation at bay, says retail boss

That’s according to Margy Osmond, CEO Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA), who said the the latest CPI figures which rose just 0.4 per cent in the June quarter, pointed to a “concerted effort” by retails to keep price rises at bay.

In the year to June quarter, CPI rose 2.4 per cent, compared to a rise of 2.5 per cent through the year to March quarter 2013. 

The retail boss said the marginal price rise left the Reserve Bank “plenty of room” to cut rates in August meeting. 
“The retail sector has made a concerted effort to keep the heat off Australian family budgets and today’s figures illustrate this,” said Osmond.  
“The modest rise in CPI shows the retail sector is continuing to play its part in relieving cost of living pressures for Australian families, despite the increasing cost of doing business. 
Prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 1.1 per cent over the past year, while furnishings, household equipment and services rose just 0.1 per cent.
 
Clothing and footwear prices actually fell 0.3% below where last years’ prices. 
“Retail figures have been reasonably flat recently, after starting the year with a bang. Retailers will be looking for all the help they can get from the RBA to continue to prove to consumers the sector is playing a positive role in keeping costs down,”  said Osmond. 
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