Retail spending up despite low consumer sentiment, according to Deloitte report

Retail spending is up across much of Australia, but consumers remain wary about the state of the economy according to the latest Deloitte Access Economics retail forecast, entitled Shopping with a frown.

According to the forecast, released today (September 3), the level of retail sales has increased by 2.8 per cent over the first half of 2012 while consumer sentiment has remained pessimistic.

Department and clothing stores have seen the greatest increase, at 5.5 per cent real gain and 6.1 per cent real gain respectively, driven by wage growth and interest rate cuts.

That is despite the fact that Australians are still somewhat cautious about the economy and job security, with Deloitte Access Economics partner David Rumbens pointing out that consumer sentiment has remained "well entrenched in pessimist territory".

"Consumers remain rightly concerned about risks to the Australian economy and feelings of job security are low," said Mr Rumbens.

"That means that today’s retail recovery remains a somewhat fragile one."

Rising electricity and gas prices have led to many Australians feeling concerned about the future state of the economy.

The first thing people should do if they are worried about their finances and the amount of disposable income they have available is conduct a gas suppliers comparison check to ensure they are getting the best possible deal to suit their needs.

Posted by Callum Moore