A 4.3 per cent fall in May consumer sentiment and small business growth expectations reaching historically low levels have nothing to do with the current climate but everything to do with the negative talk out there in the market. 
Australian Retailers Association (ARA) executive director Richard Evans said the gloom and doom rhetoric being bandied about by our leaders and economic commentators is panicking cashed-up consumers and small business owners.
“The Westpac Consumer Sentiment fell to 88.8 in May and ACCI’s May Small Business Survey showed the Expected Economic Growth index 22 points below its five year average.
These falls in business and consumer confidence don’t reflect the current economic environment where unemployment is still low, interest rates are the lowest since the 1960s, petrol prices are lower, the Australian dollar is recovering against the American dollar and there are signs of early recovery in many sectors.
“Despite all of these positive economic indicators, our leaders and commentators continue to spruik the negative narrative which is perpetuating the problem and stalling economic recovery,” said Evans.
“What we’re seeing at the moment is any sign of consumer confidence returning being quickly quashed by our leaders and commentators who show little concern for the effect economic rhetoric has on economic recovery.
If negative narrative from economic leaders and commentators continues, consumers won’t re-enter the marketplace, funds will dry up throughout the supply chain and jobs will be lost.
“Now is the time for leadership. Now is the time for resilience. Now is the time to provide a community narrative giving Australians a belief we can work our way through this period.
“Consumers are cashed up, but they are also frightened and they are acting with trepidation. They are looking to our leaders for direction and assurance but instead they are being filled with fear,” said Evans.