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Retail sales forecasts for FY23e

Weaker growth, but inflation is a cushion

20 July 2022

Our view on retail sales is more positive over the next six months, but more cautious on calendar 2023. While the “fear” of higher interest rates makes headlines, the reality is the impact takes more than a year to show through as weaker spending. Near-term, higher wages, stored up savings and retail price inflation will support sales growth. We forecast retail sales to rise 3% in FY23e, down from 6% growth in FY22e. We expect FY23e household goods sales to fall 2%. Electronics, furniture, hardware will find it most difficult given the high baseline. Supermarkets should do well with food inflation driving 6% growth in FY23e. Two important swing factors are savings and inflation. A drop in savings to pre-COVID levels will help spending and inflation will partly offset lower volumes.

The Retail Mosaic Issue 3

Retail in a world of higher rates

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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