By Grant Shepherd
SYDNEY: The Reserve bank of Australia has decided to hold interest rates at 3.75 per cent. The Australian Retailers Association has applauded this decision as it will provide retailers with a chance to post consistent growth.
Russel Zimmerman, ARA executive director, applauded the RBA’s decision and how it listened to retailers concerns.
"Today the RBA has acknowledged February as the toughest month for consumers and retailers - particularly in light of the fact that the full impacts of interest rate rises in October (0.25), November (0.25) and December (0.25) last year will take three to six months to flow through to the retail sector,” he said.
"Retail trade has been very patchy for the past twelve months but the hold on any interest rate rises will give retailers some breathing space and a fair go at getting back onto their feet through solid, consistent growth outside of the traditionally higher trading figures of the festive season.”
Zimmerman said that the much needed halt on rate rises will give consumers time to regain confidence in the economy, but he warned that the RBA should still hold off on raising rates in the future, until official trading figures are released.
"The RBA has also given consumers time to recoup some expenses from the financial strain of credit card bills from the festive season and back to school costs before implementing yet another rate rise,” he said.
"Official December Christmas figures will be released on Thursday, but more importantly, waiting to see post-Christmas retail trade figures in January and February before making further increases to interest rates will further demonstrate the RBA's commitment to ensuring a return to steady economic growth.”
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