Retailers 'are carrying the burden of high living costs'

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) believes store owners across the country are being blighted by the high cost of living.

Executive director Russell Zimmerman said that people have been hit with a 15 per cent increase in energy prices, while the cost of everyday essentials such as fuel continues to rise.

This means many Aussies are having to rein in their credit and debit card spending, which is obviously having a negative impact on the retail sector.

In addition to this, businesses have little choice but to pass on the extra cost of their overheads to customers, which is keeping people away from the shops.

Mr Zimmerman feels the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) can ease the situation by cutting interest rates next week.

"An interest rate decision in November could either make or break the ongoing cycle of weak consumer sentiment and retailers' ability to keep their doors open and maintain employment levels," he remarked.

The ARA chief is not alone in his desire to see a lower national cash rate, as the Australian Food and Grocery Council has also called on the RBA to take action.

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