Retail conditions soft, says AFGC CHEP Retail Index

The AFGC CHEP retail index predicts growth to be 2.9 per cent, year-on-year, for the December quarter, below both the 10-year average and the September quarter result.

The index, released today and using comment from the Australian Food and Grocery Council and Deloitte Analytics research based on CHEP Australia pallet movements, suggests that conditions are currently sluggish.

The Council’s chief executive, Gary Dawson, suggests another rate cut by the Reserve Bank would help consumers to open their wallets.

“We’re hoping that another cut in interest rates will send the right signals to households so they embrace this summer season with more optimism,” said Dawson.

“Food manufacturers are facing an environment where sluggish retail conditions, rising input costs on everything from commodities to labour to energy and retail price deflation continues to cut margins, placing the sector under increasing pressure.

The Index is described by the AFGC as an “accurate forward indicator of retail trade sales published ahead of official Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) historical data.”

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