Retail trade growth is expected to increase 4.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2016, according to the twentieth edition of the AFGC CHEP Retail Index. The Index indicates an improvement in the rate of growth of retail sales in the early months of 2016 following a solid Christmas trading period in 2015.

The Index, which is the lead indicator for retail sales growth in Australia, was 4 per cent higher in December 2015 compared with December 2014, despite slow growth leading up to the 2015 Christmas period.

The December quarter 2015 showed retail trade turnover of $24.72 billion with growth expected to pick up to 4.4 per cent year-on-year in the month of February, yielding $25 billion to the retail sector.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics trend data1 indicates that despite household goods retailers easing in recent months, household goods retailing continues to be the strongest performing sector. The recent strength of household goods is owed to strength in new home building and low interest rates. Elsewhere, sales growth for clothing retailers and department stores is also outperforming the national average. Whereas, food retailers experienced relatively weak sales growth through much of 2015, and that has continued in recent months.

Australian Food and Grocery Council CEO, Gary Dawson said, “It’s encouraging that retail performance has improved steadily over the December quarter, particularly in light of the difficult economic headwinds that are dampening household expenditure. Low interest rates, low unemployment and strong job growth are providing signals of a positive outlook for retailers.”

President of CHEP Asia-Pacific, Phillip Austin added, “The AFGC CHEP Retail Index indicates that expected stronger growth in the retail sector for early 2016 is most likely coming from lower interest rates, employment growth and lower petrol prices, with retailers likely to see some benefits. CHEP collaborates with the retail sector to drive efficiencies in the supply chains we serve by removing the burden of capital costs, providing scale and reach through our network advantage that delivers reusable environmental solutions that meet their current and future supply chain needs.”

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.

The next AFGC CHEP Retail Index will be released in April 2016.

[download id=”4755″]

To read the Index and access more background information, visit or





AFGC Media Contact: James Mathews 0407 416 002
CHEP Australia Media Contact: Kathryn Crofts 0437 108 844


About AFGC

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) is Australia’s peak national industry association, representing the $118 billion food, beverage and grocery manufacturing industry. As Australia’s largest manufacturing sector, the food and grocery manufacturing industry is a vital contributor to the wealth and health of our nation. The industry’s products are in more than 24 million meals, consumed by 22 million Australians every day, every week and every year. AFGC’s aim is for the Australian food, beverage and grocery manufacturing industry to be world-class, sustainable, socially-responsible and competing profitably domestically and overseas. AFGC represents one of the few manufacturing sectors that continues to grow and has significant potential for even further growth into the future. For more information, visit


About CHEP

CHEP is a global provider of supply chain solutions serving the consumer goods, fresh food, beverage, manufacturing and retail sectors in more than 60 countries. CHEP offers a wide range of logistics and operational platforms and support services that are designed to increase performance and lower risk while improving environmental sustainability. CHEP’s 12,500 employees and approximately 300 million pallets and containers deliver comprehensive coverage and exceptional value, supporting more than 500,000 customer touch-points for global brands such as Procter & Gamble, Sysco, Kellogg’s and Nestlé. CHEP is part of the Brambles Group, the operator of a portfolio of businesses that also provides Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) for the fresh food supply chain globally and specialist container solutions to the automotive, aerospace and oil and gas sectors. For more information on CHEP, visit For information on the Brambles Group, visit


About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms. In Australia, the member firm is the Australian partnership of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. As one of Australia’s leading professional services firms. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and its affiliates provide audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services through approximately 5,000 people across the country. For more information, please visit our web site at


The information provided in the AFGC/CHEP Index (“the Index”) will be provided collaboratively by CHEP Australia ABN 11 117 266 323, Australian Food and Grocery Council ABN 23 068 732 883 and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu ABN 74 490 121 060 (“the Producers”). The information provided in the Index will be current as at the stated release date and will be provided without taking account of any person’s personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this readers should, before acting on any information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to their objectives, financial situation or needs. The information in any report may contain material provided directly or indirectly by third parties. The Producers accept no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any such material. Except where contrary to law, the Producers exclude all liability in negligence or otherwise for the information contained with any report. The information in each report will be subject to change without notice and the Producers will be under no obligation to update the information or correct any inaccuracy which may become apparent at a later date or to produce future releases of any report. The forecasts given in reports will be predictive in character and therefore inherently uncertain. Whilst reasonable efforts will be made to ensure that the assumptions and facts on which the forecasts are based are reasonable and correct, the forecasts may be affected by incorrect assumptions, incorrect facts or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties. The ultimate outcomes may differ from these forecasts.