Spotlight on Australia: Understanding the Australian Consumer


The period from 2011 to 2013 was very difficult for Australian retailers. An uncertain domestic political environment and the slowing of the investment boom in the resources sector – Australia is a large exporter of iron ore, coal and other metals to China – created uncertainty over employment, weakened consumer confidence and undermined growth in the Australian real-estate market. Australians hold a greater proportion of their wealth in real estate than people in many countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); so weak property prices translate quickly into a perceived drop in wealth. Slowed rates of new housing construction also hurt the home-furnishing and consumer-electronics segments...

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