The Australian Retailers Association is urging the country's central bank to refrain from raising interest rates before Christmas as retail sales continue to slide. "The RBA must carefully consider the current sensitive nature being displayed by consumers who will respond to rumoured interest rate increases by further tightening their purse strings," ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said. "Anything that takes cash away from consumers at the moment, including premature interest rate hikes, will be damaging to retail sales in the lead up to Christmas."

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