Index Predicts Continued Slowing in Retail Sales Growth

Published today, the 25th edition of the AFGC CHEP Retail Index has pointed to a return to slowing retail turnover growth in 2017. In January, the previous Index predicted that the upturn in retail turnover growth experienced in late 2016 would not be sustained into early 2017. This situation appears to be playing out, as caution in the Australian and global economy remain factors limiting retail growth.

The latest Index predicts year-on-year growth of 2.6% for the month of March 2017 and 2.8% for the March 2017 quarter, slowing to 2.4% in May 2017 and 2.6% in the June 2017 quarter.

Notwithstanding this, the overall economic outlook for 2017 is of cautious optimism, with a modest improvement in economic indicators, including population, jobs and wages growth considered likely to emerge later in 2017.

Australian Food and Grocery Council Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr Geoffrey Annison, said: “Slow jobs and wages growth coupled with the continued housing boom, especially in Sydney and Melbourne, is resulting in a cautious approach to discretionary spending persisting over the coming months. It is pleasing to see, though, that signs of recovery are appearing in some categories, such as food and apparel, and that retail spending should increase in the latter part of the year as the economy strengthens.”

President of CHEP Asia Pacific, Phillip Austin, said: “Supported by latest pallet data from CHEP, the Index has proven to be a reliable lead indicator for ABS retail trade data since its first edition in May 2011. This edition of the Index reminds us that, although the retail environment remains challenging, it also represents an opportunity for supply chain participants to continue to work together to devise solutions that improve efficiency and reduce waste.”

“CHEP’s store solutions such as its retail display pallet and beverage tray are examples of sustainable innovations that have been developed together with our customers. They are both improving the experience for consumers and driving efficiency and returns for manufacturers and retailers,” he added.

The AFGC CHEP Retail Index is a collaborative project between the Australian Food and Grocery Council and CHEP Australia, powered by Deloitte. The Index uses CHEP transactional data based on pallet movements and is a lead indicator of Australian Bureau of Statistics Retail Trade Data. To access the Index and background information, visit or

Source: CHEP