The September quarter retail statistics indicate a slow down in growth, albeit meeting analysts expectations. Retailers would of liked a stronger result as we head into the peak trading period. For some this quarter has been their best: Harvey Norman have posted record results compared to most other retailers who were flat or marginally improved on last year. With low interest rates, the Turnball factor and lower Australian dollar this should be a strong Christmas trading period. However these factors haven't come through in retail sales growth as yet.
Analysts at Macquarie have become “increasingly negative” in their outlook for Australian retailers as the Reserve Bank’s failure to offset a string of mortgage rate hikes by the big banks puts pressure on already subdued sales.Macquarie Wealth Management researchers warn retailers are going to see deteriorating sales growth, thanks to the out-of-cycle rate hikes by Australia’s biggest banks, a cooling local property market and the likely squeezing of margins in a bid to combat sluggish sales.Prospects for a more challenging Christmas trading period increased after the Reserve Bank yesterday kept the cash rate on hold at its November board meeting, despite mortgage rate hikes of 15 basis points to 20 basis points from the major banks in October, Macquarie said.