Australia-wide the Christmas season is expected to generate sales of $54 billion, a slight rise of 2.8 per cent last year and better than thought possible during the year as Australia dealt with the unprecedented pandemic.
But retail spending has been climbing strongly in several states fuelled by government stimulus and a lack of spending options.
The predicted boost will be a relief to the retail sector which was hit hard by the lockdowns and restrictions.
Roy Morgan said strong growth was expected in Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania although there were predicted to be declines in the two states most impacted by COVID-19, Victoria and New South Wales.
Christmas retail spending in Queensland is forecast to grow by 9.3 per cent to almost $11.8 billion while spending in Western Australia is predicted to increase 14.2 per cent to nearly $6.4 billion.
“On the surface these figures appear exceptionally high, however an analysis of the real retail spending figures release by the ABS so far this year shows retail spending in these states been well over 10 per cent higher than a year ago for many months,” Roy Morgan chief executive Michelle Levine said.
“There are several reasons for these large increases in spending which starts with the massive Government stimulus injected into the economy during 2020 valued at well over $100 billion including on JobKeeper wage subsidies, a doubled JobSeeker payment and allowing Australians in financial distress to withdraw up to $10,000 from their superannuation in two tranches during the year – for a total of up to $20,000.
“In addition to all the extra stimulus being provided to the economy the restrictions on interstate and international travel have forced Australians to spend their money at home and certain categories of retail have been big beneficiaries so far this year.”
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