Modest growth on the cards, predicts CHEP AFGC retail index

Retail will continue to grow at 3 per cent, finds the quarterly AFGC CHEP index, released today.

Year-on-year growth for December was three per cent, with next month and March to see retail growth continue at that pace.

“The AFGC CHEP Retail Index suggests that the start of 2013 is unlikely to produce the lift in sales retailers have been hoping for,” said Gary Dawson, the AFGC CEO.

As with the last index’s release, which showed growth at 2.9 per cent for the December quarter, he used the result to call for a cut in interest rates by the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Phillip Austin, CHEP Australia & New Zealand’s president, described the environment as “at best a moderate growth” one, and that “businesses are under increasing pressure to increase efficiencies and find new ways to meet their customers’ needs.”

The index, using the movement of CHEP pallets and analysis by Deloitte Analytics, is described by the AFGC as an “accurate forward indicator of retail trade sales published ahead of official Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) historical data.”