Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Closed purses mean a lack of confidence



Download PDFDownload PDF

Peter Reith

DEPUTY LEADER of the OPPOSITION SHADOW TREASURER PRESS RELEASE

CLOSED PURSES MEAN A LACK O F CONFIDENCE

The fall in retail turnover reported by the Australians Bureau of Statistics today show in the clearest possible terms that Australian consumers do not share the confident assertions from Treasurer Dawkins that economic recovery is well underway.

The fall in retail trade also undermines the Prime Minister's own embarrassing claim that the recession was over "long ago*.

Only a few months ago, Mr Dawkins desperately appealed to Australians to spend, spend, spend to help bring about an economic recovery.

Indeed, announcing a cut in interest rates of 0.75 per cent on 8 July, Mr Dawkins said:

*1 just make the point that this will provide an opportunity for home owners to not only face lower mortgage repayments but I would invite them to take the opportunity that this provides for increasing their expenditure in other areas.

‘In other words, to take advantage of these newer, lower interest rates in terms of lower repayments, which will leave them with more cash to spend on other things and make their own contribution towards promoting recovery in the Australian economy.ยท

But today what have we seen?

Not a rise in retail trade, but a fall.

If the Australian people heard the Treasurer's call to spend up then they certainly do not share his confidence!

They have kept their purses firmly shut, leaving retail turnover in a slump.

In the September quarter, retail turnover fell by 0.3 per cent in real terms; in nominal terms it was almost unchanged.

This fall provides further graphic evidence that the Australian economy is still bumping along the bottom of the worst recession in 60 years.

The continuing slump in retail sales casts a serious question mark over the 3 per cent growth forecast that was included in the 1992-93 budget.

9 November 1992 Canberra

Contact: David Turnbull (06) 2774277 D194/92

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAM