The end of financial year crystal ball is proving a murky one, according to many industry representatives.
Over the course of the last six months, the global economy has been hit by a subprime crisis in the US, along with fears of a US recession. This has triggered instability across financial markets in the US and Europe, with uncertainty around economic conditions closer to home. At the same time, the Australian dollar's 25-year high against the greenback is presenting opportunities and setbacks for different channel players.
Locally, the arrival of a new Federal Government and plans for widesweeping ICT reform are raising questions about how technology will be perceived and spending will be allocated. At the same time, commercial buyers and consumers are facing rising petrol prices thanks to record-breaking oil prices and the highest interest rates in years.
So what effect are these factors having on the traditional end-of-year sales rush?
While retailers remain optimistic that they will wind up the year with strong June figures, other channel players agree softer economic conditions are inevitably having some impact. As a result, most are expecting June to be steady rather than record breaking.