Tasmania’s long run of retail sales growth is forecast to end.
The state has set a string of monthly retail turnover records in recent years.
April was the 42nd straight month of turnover growth, according to trend terms Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.
Deloitte Access Economics has forecast continued growth (1.4 per cent) in the financial year about to start, 2018-19.
However, it has forecast sales growth will turn negative in 2019-20 and 2020-21 before rebounding to 1.7 per cent annual growth in the following financial year.
Its latest Retail Forecasts report forecast a 0.6 per cent turnover decline in 2019-20 and a 0.1 per cent fall in the financial year after that.
“Growth in retail sales has been strong in recent years, and remains above the national average over the year to March 2018,” the report said.
“That is quite an achievement considering the state’s struggling population growth.
“The likely continuation of low population growth will place a speed limit on future jobs growth and retail spending growth, which may trend lower in the near term.
“This may particularly occur as the Hobart housing market loses some momentum.”
The report said the state economy continued to grow at solid levels, with some parts in overdrive, especially those linked to tourism and housing.
Deloitte said the lower dollar and growing Asian markets had given Tasmania a surge in export demand, including for agricultural products.
“For example, Tasmania’s salmon industry is enjoying a period of stronger activity,” it said.
“Meanwhile, tourism has also been booming, with both interstate and overseas migration numbers up on the previous year.
“And, to make news better, spending per visitor is also higher, contributing to strong retail numbers.”
Retail turnover was forecast to grow in every other state for the next four financial years.