Retailers hopeful for February rate cut

PEAK retail industry body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is calling on the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to consider adjusting the current cash rate of 2.5 percent in order for the retail sector to contribute its full potential to the Australian economy in 2014.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said retailers are worried that a rate hike at this time of year would reverse the positive results that the industry has worked hard to achieve over the last few months, particularly during the booming Christmas period.

“The ARA believes the current cash rate has room for further adjustment and we have every hope that with the RBA’s support, the retail sector will experience a healthier and more successful year compared to the last.

“A reduction is also crucial to stimulate employment, particularly youth unemployment which has recently hit an 11-year low. The ARA is strongly concerned for the future of Australian retail workers and a reduction in the current cash rate would certainly support the retail industry and encourage employment opportunities for the leaders of tomorrow.

“The ARA is continuing to work alongside the government to rapidly implement its program of tax cuts and economic reform, and we urge the RBA to consider the retail sector when it meets to make their decision tomorrow,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Since 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has been the peak industry body representing Australia’s $258 billion retail sector, which employs over 1.2 million people. The ARA ensures retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 5,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia.

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