The pace of Australia’s recovery from the natural disasters has stalled of late, according to the March quarter 2011 Deloitte Access Economics’ business outlook.

The report said the slow down has resulted in higher interest and exchange rates and that mix is weighing heavily on some sectors, including the retail industry.

“The swing to saving among Gen Y is keeping Australia’s retailers on the back foot,” it said.

State by state, the eastern states of Australia are struggling most; particularly Queensland as a result of the floods and cyclones but the rebound is expected to come soon, joining Western Australia at the top where retail sales are “revving up again”.

“Tasmania, Victoria and the ACT are being dragged down by consumer caution as families react to higher interest rates by cinching their belts,” the report said.

“Tasmania and South Australia are also feeling the effect of business caution on expanding capacity”

According to the report, Tasmania’s retail sales trends have been falling for more than a year now.