The Retail Council Christmas Spending Index, forecasting retail spending for the 30 days to Christmas, shows goods signs for the economy.
“Nationally $35 billion is expected to be spent in the lead up to Christmas,” said Retail Council CEO Anna McPhee.
“This year’s forecasts indicate retail is in a slightly stronger position to build on last year’s performance and is on target to contribute more than 4.5 per cent to Australia’s GDP.
The Retail Council has been releasing the Christmas Spending Index since 2008.
“Online purchases continue to be an important part of the retail offering, particularly at Christmas and are expected to make up around 16 per cent of total sales over the period.
“To help service increased consumer demand over the Christmas period the retail sector creates an additional 30,000 jobs on average at this time of year, as well as providing extra hours to existing retail workers,” Ms McPhee said.
The Retail Council recently surveyed shoppers on Christmas shopping intentions and found a majority of shoppers plan to do most of their Christmas shopping in the coming weeks and go right up to Christmas Eve.
“In the week to Sunday we are projecting total sales of $5.25 billion as shoppers turn their thoughts to Christmas preparations. Sales are expected to build week on week to 24 December,” said Anna McPhee.