Consumer retail spending continued to grow in the December quarter albeit at a lower rate than expected.
Retail sales, in volume terms, rose 0.8 per cent.
Economists had forecast an increase of at least 1 per cent.
Despite the smaller than expected rise, Australian Retailers Association executive director Richard Evans said it was a positive result.
"There was a lot happening in the retail sector during the December 08 quarter. Retailers were relying on heavy discounting to move stock; petrol prices began to spiral downwards; and the Rudd government's first economic stimulus package landed in bank accounts in December," he said.
"All of these positive economic conditions had an effect on consumer spend and returned consumer confidence during the past quarter. Consumers have defied negative rhetoric and panic commentary surrounding the global financial crisis and responsibly injected funds into the economy.”COMMENT HERE
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