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Retail Mosaic Issue 8

The impact of immigration on retail

15 March 2024

Australia’s population growth tends to be higher than other developed countries, supported by higher net migration. In Issue 8 of The Retail Mosaic, we analyse the impact net migration has on retail spending, which categories tend to benefit most and which retailers are best located for migration growth. We find that migrants tend to spend more on food and fashion. Retailers that are best located include Super Retail Group’s Macpac and Rebel Sport. JB Hi-Fi and Bunnings also have store locations that provide a greater contribution from population growth.

Measuring consumer behaviour vs consumer sentiment

The potential disconnect

12 October 2022

Consumer sentiment for October 2022 is 19% below the long-term average, suggesting consumers are worried. However, consumer sentiment is at odds with consumer spending. Most of the time what consumers say and what they do disconnect. Instead, we focus on measures of consumer behaviours in order to gauge the retail outlook. Restaurant and café spend has a 3x stronger correlation with retail spending than consumer sentiment. Restaurant bookings are up 23% on pre COVID-19 levels in October. Housing churn is up 80% on pre COVID-19 levels. Food inflation is 14% higher than 2019 and retail spending is up 25% on 2019 levels. There are no signs of a slowdown in spending behaviours on the near-term horizon.

Measures of consumer behaviour and sentiment

National accounts for June ’22 quarter

Income growth accelerating

08 September 2022

The National Accounts for the June 2022 quarter paints a strong picture of the  Australian consumer. Despite fears about higher interest rates, the prevailing climate is one where incomes are growing faster and savings are being drawn down gradually. We expect the strength of income and savings to outweigh the headwinds for at least another six months. It is fair to caution that once the slowdown arrives around mid-2023, it could be a protracted downturn.

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