Retail association predicts new record in sales
RETAIL spending is expected to hit record levels as thousands flock to Boxing Day sales across the nation.
The Australian Retail Association predicted shoppers would spend about $16.1 billion in the post-Christmas sales from today until mid-January.
Post-Christmas retail spending last year hit $15.5 billion, up from the ARA's prediction of $15.1 billion.
While NSW and Victoria will lead the way in spending growth, Queensland's predicted 3.2% increase in retail spending is expected to be below the national average.
ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said spending would be up across Australia as consumer confidence began to look up.
Mr Zimmerman said the hospitality sector was expected to experience the biggest increase in spending this year.
"Looking at the actual post-Christmas sales figures for 2013 and this year's post-Christmas predictions, the hospitality sector shows the highest level of growth at 6.7%," he said.
"The reason for that is when confidence is looking up people don't go and buy, say, a fridge, which is seen as a big expense. But they might treat themselves to go out to dinner - something people look at and can afford."
Mr Zimmerman said, after a tough year for retail, the lead up to this Christmas had shown some strong results for the retail sector and more improvements were expected in the new year.
"After what has been a very tough year in business, the ARA is confident that the retail industry will enjoy a well-deserved boost in sales this Christmas and we hope this positive trend will continue into 2015," Mr Zimmerman said.
Predicted national retail spending
NSW - $5.04 billion
Victoria - $4.001 billion
Queensland - $3.345 billion
Western Australia - $1.887 billion
South Australia - $1.047 billion
Tasmania - $323 million
Northern Territory - $177 million
ACT - $286 million
National - $16.107 billion