Case mounting for official rate rise: NAB

September 12, 2017

A new report indicates Australian consumer sentiment is at a low point.

It would appear neither retailers or their customers are happy, even though spending has picked up in recent months.

Deloitte Access Economics partner David Rumbens says strengthening employment outcomes are providing the basis for spending to lift, as well as the continued wealth gains from housing.

"But consumers aren't happy," Mr Rumbens says in his quarterly Retail Forecasts report.

"Despite improvements in unemployment expectations and an increase in business confidence, consumer sentiment is at a low point with concerns over financial risks."

At the same time, retailers are facing competition from the likes of Amazon, widespread aggressive discounting to lure in the consumer dollar and rising energy prices.

"It's likely retailers aren't so happy either," he says.

Yet retail turnover over the June quarter grew 1.5 per cent, the highest result since the March quarter 2013 and after a subdued start to 2017.

The report forecasts 3.5 per cent turnover growth for the 2017/18 financial year, compared to just 1.8 per cent over the previous year.

New reports on Wednesday will show whether businesses more generally were still riding high in August with both confidence and conditions in the National Australia Bank survey around their highest in around a decade the previous month.

The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index is also released.

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