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The Australian economy has had a jolt and the ripples are now flowing outwards. Consumers experiencing weak wages growth and a teetering global economy have been spending less. And, since Australian consumers constitute a majority of our economy, the effects are certainly being felt.

This week brought hard confirmation that the Australian consumer is as nervous as a mouse. Retail sales growth was expected to come in positive. Instead, as the next chart shows, it printed its third monthly fall in the last eight months (down 0.1% in July, seasonally adjusted).