•   
  •   

World Longest losing streak on record for retail sales as consumer confidence slumps to lockdown level

10:52  22 october  2021
10:52  22 october  2021 Source:   news.sky.com

Vulnerable Australians falling victim to high-pressure solar panel sales tactics, amid calls to ban door-knocking

  Vulnerable Australians falling victim to high-pressure solar panel sales tactics, amid calls to ban door-knocking Vulnerable Australians — including pensioners — are being signed up to overpriced solar deals, with some being charged almost double what their system is worth. Jon Russell, from Murrurundi in New South Wales, had a salesman from a company called Grand Group visit his home last year. Mr Russell is the full-time carer for his friend of 14 years, Lisa Smit, who lives with multiple medical conditions and is unable to work. They put a modest solar system on their home in 2016, before being told by a salesman last year they could save more money if they upgraded.

Retail sales volumes took a surprise dip last month to achieve their longest losing streak on record, according to official figures released as a measure of consumer confidence showed a slump to levels last seen in February.

Retail sales volumes had been tipped to grow last month but the ONS data suggests consumers are wary of big purchases © Reuters Retail sales volumes had been tipped to grow last month but the ONS data suggests consumers are wary of big purchases

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that sales volumes declined by 0.2% in September.

Economists had expected a lift of 0.5% despite consumers getting to grips with rising costs of many essentials as the economy endures disruption from supply chain difficulties including the shortage of workers.

Amazon copied products, rigged search to push own brands: Reuters

  Amazon copied products, rigged search to push own brands: Reuters Company ran systematic campaign of creating knockoffs and manipulating search results to boost Amazon products in India.But thousands of pages of internal Amazon documents examined by Reuters news agency – including emails, strategy papers and business plans – show the company ran a systematic campaign of creating knockoffs and manipulating search results to boost its own product lines in India, one of the company’s largest growth markets.

The supply chain problems have led to limited shortages of products including food but supermarkets say stocks are generally good © Reuters The supply chain problems have led to limited shortages of products including food but supermarkets say stocks are generally good

The ONS said the fall meant that volumes had fallen each month since April, making it the longest period for shrinking sales since records began in 1996.

However, its number-crunchers revealed that despite the performance, volumes remained 4.2% above their pre-pandemic level.

The data showed rising sales in two categories - food and fuel.

The latter was boosted, the ONS said, by the panic buying frenzy towards the end of the month with 2.9% growth being recorded as motorists rushed to the pumps.

Non-food stores reported a fall of 1.4% in sales volumes.

How you can make $7,500 at the drop of a finger by taking on big bank

  How you can make $7,500 at the drop of a finger by taking on big bank Melbourne mother-of-four Marie Chronopoulos received a $7,484 refund from the Commonwealth Bank after she had spent years paying for junk insurance on loans. She explained how easy it is.For years, Melbourne mother-of-four and grandmother Marie Chronopoulos had spent thousands on insurance linked to Commonwealth Bank of Australia loans.

ONS director of economic statistics, Darren Morgan, said physical stores continued to struggle at the expense of those with an online-heavy presence.

"Household goods were the main driver of this month's decline with a fall of nearly 10%, while food sales ticked back up after falling last month.

"Petrol sales exceeded their pre-pandemic level for the first time, with filling stations reporting very strong sales during the last week of September.

"Despite the lifting of restrictions, in-store retail sales remain subdued, with many consumers still opting to shop online."

The report was released as a separate study showed consumer confidence had fallen this month to hit its lowest level since February when the UK was in its last COVID-19 lockdown.

The GfK measure - the country's longest-running survey of its kind - was taken amid growing warnings from economists and the Bank of England that prices are set to charge forward over the winter months.

Melbourne's 'Freedom Day' isn't what it seems

  Melbourne's 'Freedom Day' isn't what it seems Premier Daniel Andrews has snubbed Melburnians as they prepare to leave what has been the longest period of Covid-19 lockdown on the planet. Instead, smiling health bureaucrat, Acting Chief Health Officer Ben Cowie, addressed the daily press conference on Thursday to declare their hard lockdown would officially end at 11.59pm. With 70 per cent of Victorians now vaccinated, Melburnians will from Friday be allowed to freely travel within the metropolitan region.

The global supply disruption, which is a consequence of demand massively outstripping supply as economies get back in gear, has also been exacerbated by domestic factors as businesses struggle to recruit key workers such as HGV drivers and butchers in the wake of Brexit immigration rules.

The latest inflation figures, which covered September, showed fuel costs heading the pressures with food costs also on the rise.

The pace of price rises is tipped to accelerate markedly this month as households grapple the 12% rise in the energy price cap following a leap in wholesale gas costs that is expected to add to bills further next spring.

One economist told Sky News this week that the cap could see a further spike of 30% when the next review takes effect in April.

Petrol retailers have also warned that costs will reach a record high by the end of the month.

The inflation picture is important in the retail context as surging costs limit household spending power in the economy - one that is usually reliant on consumer spending.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said of the ONS data: "Retailers will be concerned by the slump in sales, just as they begin their preparations for the all-important Christmas period.

"Fuel shortages, wet weather, and low consumer confidence all contributed to lower consumer demand this month."

She added: "For the sake of the UK's economic recovery, it is vital that retail sales bounce back as we near the festive season.

"Labour shortages across the supply chains, on farms, factories, warehouses and lorry drivers, all threaten to derail this recovery and it is vital that government finds a long term solution to this problem.

"Labour shortages, alongside higher energy, commodity, and transport costs, are all putting pressure on prices, with three in five retailers warning of higher prices before Christmas."

Why Australians WON'T be keen on spending despite end of lockdowns .
Australians who are planning to either travel during the next year or spend more money are a minority group. Anxiety still persists despite the end of crippling lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne.For now, there are some signs of recovery but that may not last with only a minority of consumers either planning to travel during the coming year or spend more money on things like white goods or cars.

usr: 0
This is interesting!