ABS results show business growing despite lack of traction

DESPITE a slight pick up in retail trade in June, difficult trading conditions for most businesses are weighing on future expectations.

New figures on retail trade from the ABS released on Monday showed trade picked up 0.6% in June, after a 0.3% in May.

Mainly on the back of a 1.7% rise in household goods and 1.4% rise in clothing footwear and personal accessories, increased retail turnover was offset by falls in cafes and restaurants of 0.6% and department stores, down 0.5%.

The figures came as the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry's latest business expectation survey showed some improvements.

That data showed while business conditions across all sectors were poor but improving, the poor performance was starting to drag on confidence and expectations.

ACCI chief executive Kate Carnell said poor selling prices and "deeply depressed profitability" were undermining employment investment expectations.

"Most expectations indicators remain in positive territory, however, all of them except expected export sales have fallen in the June quarter," she said.

"The current survey readings indicate that the labour market will remain soft for some time and that the forecast transition from mining investment-led growth to broader-based economic activity remains elusive."


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