Strong finish for the year

THE period leading up to December was a very unsure time for retailers in the Perth metropolitan area.

Generally, observers felt the expected retailing spending rush had not eventuated. But Dec-ember came in with a rush.

Brian Reynolds of the Retail Traders Association had suggested 12 months ago that the likely increase in spending was going to be of the order of six per cent. Now that the figures have come in they certainly show a six per cent rise in the sales to finish the month with a retail spend of around $1.7 billion.

This was a strong finish to the year and would have pleased the retailers enormously.

One aspect that has pleased those of us who have been on this bandwagon for some considerable time is that the sales occurred predominantly in cash or via EFTPOS.

It would seem that finally all our exhortations regarding the over use of credit might just be starting to get through to our consumers.

It just seems to be that we are budgeting our spending a lot better now and that we are more aware of our limitations in so far as cash is concerned.

The increase in spending has been across the board, with most sectors that had been affected by the GST-induced stupor that consumers had got into since July now showing signs of improvement.

This augurs well for the Australian economy, as it would seem that small retailers participated in the boost just as much as the larger retailers. All in all a good finish to the year.

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