GPT Group, one of Australia’s largest diversified property trusts, reported moderate March quarter growth on Wednesday, helped by increased consumer confidence and interest rate stability.

GPT Group includes, office, hotel and tourism units, as well as a $4.6 billion retail arm.

The GPT group’s March quarter update said sales growth and a strong level of occupancy rate were a result of high employment rate and a stable interest rate.

Its shopping centers, sales showed growth of 2 percent for the year ending March 2007 in comparable moving annual turnover (MAT).

Within the major retailers, mini-majors had the strongest growth with an 11.7 per cent increase. Supermarkets were up 8.2 per cent, department stores up 2.4 per cent and discount department stores down 2.4 per cent.

The hotel and tourism portfolio has performed well through March, with revenue up 3.7 per cent, from $59.42 million to $61.35 million.

The Group expects sales growth to be positive, given the continuity of solid economic growth with low level of unemployment and a relatively stable interest rate outlook.