Retailers report slight rise in trade

Aussies showed signs that they may be willing to loosen their grip on their purses and wallets, as retailers across the country reported a slight upturn in trade in August.

New figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that overall turnover was up by 0.2 per cent during the month in seasonally adjusted terms.

Although this is hardly a headline figure, it is still a marked improvement on July, when sales fell by 0.8 per cent.

Many Aussies have been reassessing their spending habits and a lot of people have started to use debit cards more frequently, rather than credit cards.

This enables households to keep a much tighter grip on their outgoings, as they are essentially only spending money that they already have in their bank.

According to the new figures, spending in department stores was up by an impressive 6.9 per cent, while food and "other" retailing were also in positive territory.

However, these increases were offset by a 1.5 per cent drop in household goods retailing and a 0.9 per cent decline in takeaway food services.

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