Retail spending has reduced in the wake of the federal budget. The Australian Food and Grocery

Australian food and Grocery Council chief executive Gary Dawson. Photo: www.daff.gov.au

Australian food and Grocery Council chief executive Gary Dawson. Photo: www.daff.gov.au

Council (AFGC) have released the findings of an index based on supply chain activity. It shows a reduction of consumer spending of 5.2 per cent in the June quarter, compared with the same time last year.

AFGC chief executive Gary Dawson believed consumer confidence was leading people to tighten-their-belts in preparation for what they expect to be lean times.

But the economic data is pointing the other way: Interest rates remain low, the job market is bouncing back, and Australia’s economy appears to be cautiously growing. The continuance of these economic markers will improve consumer confidence; with the trickle- down consequences being improvements in retail spending and a much needed shot in the arm for our manufacturing industries.

Questions have been asked of Treasurer Hockey’s budget sell. The economy is performing well, the budget being lauded as harsh but achievable and definitely in the country’s best interest. Had the Treasurer ‘sold’ the budget better to constituents would the loss of confidence have been avoided?

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