Moderation in retail sales growth in early 2019 predicted by the CHEP Retail Index

CHEP Retail Index: A lead indicator of Australian Bureau of Statistics retail trade data, based on transactional data from CHEP pallet movements.

1 February 2019 - Sydney Australia - Figures published in the latest edition of the quarterly CHEP Retail Index, which uses transactional data from CHEP pallet movements to provide a lead indicator of Australian Bureau of Statistics retail trade data, predicts moderated growth for retail turnover in the first quarter of 2019.

Index: Key figures

·         3.4% year-on-year retail growth for March 2018

·         Turnover of $27.1billion in December 2018, with year-on-year growth for the month of December increasing to 3.4%

·         On a quarterly basis, 3.6% year-on-year growth for the December quarter and decreasing to 3.4% for the March quarter.

Retail turnover has moderated slightly in the first quarter of 2019 as Australia continues its long run of uninterrupted economic growth, which has flowed through to the labour market resulting in strong job growth.

Consumer confidence affecting the Australian market has drifted lower as falling house prices offset good news from the labour market, and households are reverting to wages to drive retail spending.

Pallet movement data indicates that retailers are expecting sales to increase only slightly year on year following a relatively subdued Christmas period, as population growth and the labour market tightens and an increase in the number of consumers opting for online purchases over visiting physical stores.

Providing commentary on the Index, David Rumbens, partner at Deloitte Access Economics, said that, “Bricks and mortar retailers were optimistic heading into the Christmas period, however data suggests that sales may not have met the expectations implied by pallet movements”.

President of CHEP Asia Pacific, Phillip Austin, said, “CHEP is well placed to meet changes in customer purchase behaviour as technology expands consumer choice, our scale and density means we can be faster and more responsive to customers’ changing needs in physical and online markets, enabling a smarter, more sustainable supply chain”.

Natasha Davis, Brambles Media Contact: 0428 474 737
Kathryn Crofts, CHEP Australia Media Contact: 0437 108 844

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