Despite widespread consumer pessimism, Australian shoppers are increasingly gearing up for Black Friday sales, with toy shop manager David Wall observing a surge in board game and puzzle purchases in preparation for the event. Despite being colloquially known for sales starting in November, many stores have begun offering discounts as early as July. The Australian Retailers Association projects that Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales will make up a significant portion of holiday purchases, with an estimated spending of $6.36 billion. However, consumer sentiment remains low, with concerns about high inflation and interest rates impacting Christmas spending.
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment survey shows a 2.6% drop in consumer optimism, signaling a deeply pessimistic outlook. This sentiment, combined with worries about rising interest rates and inflation, is expected to result in reduced Christmas spending. Despite the looming challenges, the Reserve Bank of Australia anticipates a potential decrease in inflation to acceptable levels by the end of 2025.