The Australian Retailers Association said the 7.5% increase in Westpac Consumer Sentiment figures for December was welcomed by retailers. Richard Evans, executive director of ARA, said the data indicate that consumers are realising that the financial crisis is really a crisis of confidence. "This jump in consumer sentiment doesn't just affect retailers, it affects all Australian businesses," Evans said. "Retailing is the barometer of the economy, and conditions affecting the retail sector will affect the rest of the supply channel three to six months later."
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