Retailers face another Murphy’s Law moment

The downgrades from both Pacific Brands and The Reject Shop reflect the first tangible effects of the slump in consumer sentiment since the federal budget was handed down. Unusually warm weather has compounded the problem.

The impact of a sharp downward shift in consumer confidence and spending that started ahead of the federal budget is now flowing through to downgrades in earnings for consumer-facing businesses.

Anecdotally, the slide started in mid-March as speculation about what might be in the budget burgeoned. The reality of the budget announcement and the subsequent controversies and debates haven’t helped confidence.

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