Domestic retail figures have risen for the second month prompting cautious optimism from economists. The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed a 0.4 per cent rise in retail spending in July. The actual dollar amount improved from $23.217 billion in June to $23.311 in July.

The Government have used the figures to reject the negative sentiment surrounding Joe Hockey’s budget announcement. Labor Party officials believe the raft of cuts and tax hikes are finally being understood as prudent fiscal policy, and not the-end-of-the-economy-as-we-know-it predicted by the Opposition.

NAB Economist David de Garis. Photo: business.nab.com.au

NAB Economist David de Garis. Photo: business.nab.com.au

David de Garis, a senior economist at National Bank Australia said, “Most of the categories of retail spending were up, so it’s a somewhat positive start to the September quarter for retail after what was overall a very flat June quarter.”

“Consumer confidence numbers,” he continued, “have recovered since the budget, we’ve recovered those pre- and post-budget confidence losses, at least according to the surveys and that should be supportive of spending.”

This is all good news for retailers as the economy moves towards the Christmas activity. The sustained confidence in the economy is likely to continue until the New Year with the money flushing through the economy.

The best news was that retailers are making the switch to online shopping.

A recent NAB online Retail sales report showed those aged over 65 are turning to the internet for their shopping needs. 28 per cent of all online grocery and liquor sales are done by those aged 65 and older.

The 25 – 54 year-old group still dominates this market and spend more per person. But those in the older age-group have grown steadily for the past 11 months. And there is no reason to expect the trend to stop.

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