An unstable global economic climate, along with exorbitant fuel costs and multiple interest rate rises closer to home, all make for an interesting end of financial year discussion. So will this June be as big as years past? We asked representatives from all segments of the industry for their verdict.
Retail representatives remain upbeat and are looking forward to the traditional end of year sales rush despite increasing inflationary pressures on consumers.
"Things have slowed down a little bit in the last two or three months," Bing Lee general manager, Phil Moujaes, said. "We have seen a slowdown but I guess that is not a surprise as you see that in the newspapers, retailers are saying things are getting a little tougher out there.
"However, end of financial year is always a peak selling period for us. It's one of our biggest trading months of the year and we have high expectations for it."
Myer national corporate affairs manager, Mitch Catlin, also acknowledged sales had been patchy but maintained a positive outlook. While there were high-profile offerings on the shelves at the end of the 2006/2007 financial year and prices have dropped year on year, this time around the focus has shifted to notebook PCs and other mobile devices.
"I'd say there will be fairly strong sales across all the IT product areas, with particular growth in notebook PCs," GFK analyst, Kathleen Lonergan, said.
According to Harvey Norman computers and communications general manager, Luke Naish, notebooks under $1000 are driving a lot of growth.
"This time last year we had fantastic success with Vista and PlayStation 3; this year it's been more subdued with new technologies coming to market but our unit growth has been fantastic," Naish said. "We've been moving far greater numbers of notebooks and GPS than this time last year."
The economic slump has impacted the local market in other ways. In a usual June period, City Software's call centre experiences a spike in calls of 2.5 times the regular volume. This year CEO, Lorenzo Coppa, said it was less pronounced with only double the regular amount of callers.