2012 Christmas Could be Best Ever in Three Years for Australian Retailers

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | December 13, 2012 6:46 PM EST

Christmas selling and spending this 2012 could be the best ever in three years for Australian retailers, according to a Christmas Retailers' Survey by the Deloitte Access Economics as consumers, cajoling Australian businesses ought to sing and dance as cash registers are predicted to ring louder this year.

A third of retailers will give discounts off prevailing selling prices by early December, according to the survey, while retail trade growth was expected to come in at 3.7 per cent for the year to December.

The improvement, albeit still low, comes from the existing favourable macroeconomic conditions in Australia.

"Interest rates have been slashed, wages growth is solid, house prices are stabilising, and consumer confidence has picked up" Deloitte said in a statement. 

"It's hardly a perfect set of circumstances - jobs growth in Australia remains anaemic," David Rumbens, Deloitte partner, said. But he noted that consumers' appetite for spending has been stronger in 2012 than it has been for some time mainly based on those mentioned factors.

Seventy per cent of the 52 retail executives asked in the Deloitte survey said they expect higher sales this Christmas versus 2011. Thirteen per cent, meanwhile, said it will be more severe compared from last year.

"While it may be a brighter Christmas, it's likely to be back to the reality of a hard slog for retailers in 2013," Mr Rumbens said.

"Income growth is modest and these days consumers are taking a more measured approach to borrowing and spending than they have in the past," he said.

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