Dollar crisis? What crisis?

Dollar crisis? What crisis?

The crashing Australian dollar and deteriorating world economy is not all bad news for retailers and should not necessarily mean prices are going to rise in the immediate future, according to one of Australia's leading IT retail executives.

Tony Gattari, general manager of computers, Harvey Norman, told ARN that there is a good side to all the economic woe that has permeated our region and which is starting to take on global proportions. He says that as demand for information technology declines in the economically affected regions, the stockpile of hardware and software products is building.

"There has been little or no reduction in world production despite demand taking a downturn in many regions," said Gattari.

With some commentators claiming that falling consumer prices are going to be arrested, or even turned back, as a result of the world's monetary troubles in most regions, there would be a temptation for some to buy up before further damage is inflicted. Gattari thinks that the opposite may be the case.

"My free advice to buyers is not to buy at the moment. Prices may yet fall even further and faster than they are at present," he said. "If there is an oversupply, then market forces will see the prices drop as vendors try to move their stock.

"I'm getting the message that there is an excess of stock and not a lot of growth in demand if you look at markets on a global basis. That to me spells a recipe for some dumping of product and, as a vibrant market, under those circumstances, Australia would have to be a target," he added.

Gattari was also the first to admit that nobody really knows what will happen, but at the same time he doesn't envisage the recent currency crisis having a major impact on Australian IT retailing.

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