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Survey: retailers lag real economy

Retail_survey_1A new survey indicates a marked gap between the real economy and the challenging retail climate.

The Dun & Bradstreet business expectations survey revealed that although a positive outlook was shared across most major sectors, retailers reported the current period as one of the most challenging on record.

As reported in online retail media, Dun & Bradstreet director of corporate affairs Damian Karmelich said the results provided a clear insight into the real strength of the Australian economy as well as the emerging gap between retailers and other businesses.

“During the Christmas period there has been an understandable focus on the challenges faced by retailers and the survey shows that retailers are preparing to discount in response to those challenges,” he said.

“However, for firms engaged in business-to-business trade and exposed to the growth of emerging economies like China the outlook is positive,

“There is a clear distinction between retailers and the rest in actual performance. The non-retail sector is driving the economy while retailers struggle with household deleveraging.”

Almost half of firms surveyed anticipated increased sales while 17 per cent believed sales would fall. The sales expectations of retailers were also strong, with the retail sales index at 35, three points above the sales indexes for wholesalers and durables manufacturers.

However, despite these significant expectations for the New Year, retailers were yet to see strong gains in actual sales. The retail sector’s index was at 8 for the September 2010 quarter, well below the aggregate index of 14.

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