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Garden Shed Sales – The New Australian Economic Indicator?

Thursday, 11 July 2013 12:18

The strength of the Australian economy differs depending on who you listen to. Economists argue the Australian economy has never been stronger. Retailers counter that consumer confidence and sales are low, that the indicators the economists are looking at are wrong with the Australian economy in dire straits. Who should we believe? What economic indicators should Australian economists be looking at to determine the true health of the Australian Economy?

Rob Barron from Sydney online Shed retailer www.shedspot.com.au believes some of the current economic indicators need to be retired and new more relevant ones implemented. “If the number crunchers in Canberra want to really know what is happening in the Australian economy they need to look at my shed sale statistics” says Rob.

“When business confidence is high sales of our larger sheds increase as businesses requiring more plant and equipment storage room jump into the shed market. When consumer confidence is high sales of large backyard and workshop sheds increase as more new homes are built and older homes are renovated driving demand for these large sheds. When consumer confidence is low overall sales of sheds decrease but sales of smaller sheds increase as people needing a shed tighten their belts and get the smallest one possible.

“It’s an extremely useful and accurate economic health indicator(shed sales) and I’m offering my stats to the Reserve Bank to assist them with their economic forecasting.” Rob says, tongue in cheek. “I even have a formula to adjust for seasonal differences. When it’s home renovation reality show season I adjust for increases in shed sales as inspired home renovators buy a shed to store all their new gear .”

As evidence of his position, Rob points out new car sale statistics are a poor indicator of economic health as they are too unstable. After the Global Economic Crisis new car sales were artificially bolstered by the Australian Government’s stimulus package… and now are low due to uncertainty within the Australian car manufacturing industry.

Rob has sought comment from Glenn Stevens, chairman of the Reserve Bank regarding possible utilisation of shed sales by the bank as an economic indicator but at the time of publishing this press release Mr. Stevens had yet to respond.

Rob Barron is the owner of Shedspot.com.au, one of Australia largest retail shed businesses.

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