2014 has been a challenging year for Queensland retailers, with retail turnover not growing, and actually declining by around 1% from levels seen earlier in the year (see chart below). I suspect a large part of this is due to the mining downturn and the broader economic weakness that has seen unemployment increase from 6.1% to 6.7% over the year so far. Online purchases from overseas may play a role, although these would affect national turnover, too, and it has at least been growing at a modest rate, according to the ABS data (see Queensland Treasury information brief). Even if they can’t explain the recent poor retail turnover data, online purchases should have a lower threshold for GST, as I’ve posted on before (see Costello right to support drop in $1,000 GST-free threshold for online purchases).
On yesterday’s retail turnover figures, also see Pete Faulkner’s post Retail trade disappoints…particularly in Queensland. Pete makes the good point that, when you consider inflation, “retail sales in Queensland have fallen in real terms over the past year.”