Retail has been booming for five years, but observers are now speculating that the industry is at the tail end of the really good times. IBISWorld is predicting retail spending will grow about 4% in 2007-08, up slightly from 2006-07, but then fall off in the second half of 2008.
The strength of the labour market has been offset by rising interest rates and petrol prices. Household credit data released yesterday shows that consumers are becoming more cautious in taking on debt.
But the affluent will keep spending. According to a report in The Australian Financial Review today, some categories will do better than others:
- Electronic gadgets including digital cameras and flat screen TVs.
- Overseas holidays.
- Male grooming products.
- Home furnishings.
- Outdoor gardening products.
- Newspapers, books and magazines.