Our love for coffee is saving QLD retail

QUEENSLAND'S love for latte-sipping is playing an ever-increasing role in propping up the state's retail sector, after the wider ­industry recorded its lowest growth in almost a decade.

According to new Australian Bureau of Statistics data, the state recorded its slowest retail growth last year - just 1.3 per cent - with only Western Australia recording a worse figure.

However, about $9.2 billion was spent in Queensland cafes and restaurants in the 12 months to April.

While Queenslanders are tightening household budgets to combat higher cost-of-living pressures, a breakdown of the state's retail spending revealed cafe and takeaway sales grew by 3.7 per cent in April this year - the highest growth nationally. Some $693 million was spent in cafes and on takeaways alone in April this year.

This means that for every $1 spent in retail, 14c was splurged on coffees, in cafes or on takeaway food.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland head of industry Dan Petrie said the rise of takeaway businesses such as UberEats and Deliveroo had contributed to the industry's growth.

But Mr Petrie said the broader retail trend of below inflation growth was a huge concern for the overall ­economy.

"Consumers drive sentiment and if people are concerned around household budgets, then this should be a sign to both the Reserve Bank and Federal Government that a policy response may be required sooner rather than later," he said.

"The state's businesses need an injection of confidence and a clear path from the politicians that businesses must be front and centre at any debate around the direction of the overall economy."

Street Lab Speciality Coffee owner Ethan Dou, who operates his cafe in Emporium in Fortitude Valley, said he served between 200 to 300 people each day. The cafe, which combines Mr Dou's love for both coffee and street culture, charges $3.50 for a regular coffee.

"(Queenslanders) spend more money on coffee," he said.

"On weekdays, there would be more people from the office (visiting Street Lab)."

Rebecca Petersen said she would go out for breakfast most Saturdays in summer.

"It's for catch-ups and having meetings outside instead of at the office," she said.

Queenslanders also spent more than $11.7 billion on household goods, including electrical items and furniture in the year to April.



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