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Consumer confidence hit by Australian bushfire crisis

Australia’s ongoing bushfire crisis has sent consumer confidence plunging to low levels. Consumer sentiment fell 1.8% in January, after a 1.9% decline in December. Experts have pointed to lack of demand from Australian consumers, who are also burdened by debts and the country’s low wage growth. The bushfire crisis is predicted to take a heavy toll on Australia’s $1.3-trillion economy, with GDP forecast to stall in 2020. Retailers, as well as the food and beverage industry have already noted a slowdown in sales, while international tourism revenue also looks set to drop.

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