Retail still needs rates therapy

The retail growth trend remains strong, but its momentum comes amid an unusual context and is unlikely to persist once business investment is more seriously challenged.

Households are splurging on household goods and eating out but can the momentum persist? Growth may be strong in the March quarter but the economy has yet to face its sternest test and that’s why rates should not rise just yet.

Retail sales rose by 0.2 per cent in February, narrowly missing expectations, to be 4.9 per cent higher over the year. The modest result was not a surprise following the particularly strong January outcome when sales rose by 1.2 per cent.


Graph for Retail still needs rates therapy

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