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Santa came to small retailers

"A good Christmas was had by small retailers," Alan Cadman MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Workplace Relations and Small Business said today.

"Today's release of ABS retail sales figures for the month of December confirms small retailers posted strong Christmas sales for 1997, substantially up on last year.

"Consumers were feeling much more confident and they decided to spend up at Christmas.

"Small retailers will welcome today's result. The good news is further evidence of the Howard Government getting the fundamentals right for small business.

"Combined with a good inflation result for the December quarter, and low interest rates, small retailers are in a good position to move ahead in 1998."

ABS figures for the month of December 1997 report strong growth in retail sales compared with December 1996. This is in line with reports from small retailers that 1997 was a much better Christmas than 1996.

SYDNEY

Contact:

Michael Paag, 02 6277 4182; 0417 650 869