Get out there and spend for your country was the Prime Ministerial message and get out there and spend we have. The Australian Bureau of Statistics retail sales figures for May show that in current price seasonally adjusted terms, Australian turnover increased by 1.0% in May 2009, following increases of 0.3% in April and 2.2% in March. Turnover increased in four of the five months prior to March including a 3.8% increase in December 2008.
This was just the kind of result the Government was hoping to get from its pair of stimulus packages last year and early this. And yet again the Treasury forecasters have proved the doomsayers of the financial markets wrong. The sales increase in May was twice the level predicted by the business economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
The increased spending was evident right across the board with the exception of household goods retailing which was down 2% in seasonally adjusted terms. All the states and territories shared in the growth with the exception of New South Wales and the Northern Territory where there was virtually no change and Tasmania which had a decline of 0.1%