The Retail Mosaic Issue 3

Retail in a world of higher rates

Published: 13 April 2022

Australian households and companies have not dealt with an interest rate increase for more than 10 years. However, higher rates are imminent. In Issue 3 of The Retail Mosaic, we assess the impact that higher rates may have on spending, company earnings and share prices. It takes, on average, 18 months for a rate hike to impact spending, but for furniture it can be in as little as six months. We expect housing churn will slow as rates rise, placing further downside risk on household goods. Retailers have limited debt and some hedging that will moderate the earnings risk from higher rates. However, PE ratios could derate by 10-20%, particularly for high PE defensive stocks such as supermarkets and conglomerates.

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