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    Retail in doldrums


    POOR retail conditions across the country were likely to persist into the first quarter of the 2011-12 financial year, according to a new retail-linked logistics report.

    The second edition of the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) CHEP Retail Index, released yesterday, has forecast 1.5 per cent growth in retail trade year on year for the quarter ending September 30.

    The June result showed a 3.2 per cent increase year on year, while the index showed retail activity slowing for August with a modest 1.9 per cent increase year on year.

    The index aims to help signal early indications of economic activity.

    AFGC chief executive said the result reflected the fragile state of consumer confidence.

    “A fall in retail spending translates to fewer movements through Australia’s long supply chain, impacting upon the food and grocery manufacturing sector, which is already under pressure from a ‘perfect storm’, such as rising input costs from wages, water and energy power prices, higher transport costs, including fuel, and near record high global commodity prices,” Carnell said.

    Source – The Sydney Morning Herald