Despite ongoing disruptions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, widespread flood and global supply chain pressures, Australia’s economy continues its upward swing as seen in retail spending, official data revealed on Tuesday.
The data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that sales had increased by 9.1 per cent compared with the same time in February last year, reports Xinhua news agency.
Australian Retailers Association (ARA) CEO Paul Zahra flagged the increase as a sign of “robust performance” despite ongoing disruptions.
“Retailers have navigated the worst of the pandemic, however, we’ve now entered a period of global economic uncertainty, which has strained global energy supplies and is impacting cost of living pressures with rising inflation also a significant concern,” said Zahra.
The growth was predominated in spending on clothes, experiencing a 17.8-per cent increase, and hospitality venues, up 15.9 per cent, a sign that confidence was growing among consumers to get out and about.
The ARA touted optimism for the upcoming Easter long weekend in the second week of April.
ARA research predicted that Australians are tipped to spend A$7.1 billion on overseas trips.
“With the economy opening, people have been able to book local holidays with confidence and that’s set to be a major boost to tourism operators and local retailers who are heavily reliant on the visitor dollar,” said Zahra.