I think it's very true what someone (can't remember who it was) said a couple of weeks ago. We're talking ourselves into a recession we don't have to have!
The Australian economy is fundamentally quite strong, yet because of negative media and negative international events (which undoubtably will have some effect on us here) we're all talking doom and gloom. Even here on this forum it seems to be happening a bit.
If we're not careful it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy because we'll all keep not spending because we fear job losses etc, and before we know it because we didn't spend there will be a recession here. It's somewhat daft but I really think that's what is happening.
I know from my inside sources at Westfield that they do have a big list of retailers waiting to open stores, and they are doing very very well indeed as a company, even if some individual retailers are finding it a little tough (and some extremely tough). Let's not forget that it's only a very small number of retailers who have actually shut down, and in most cases there were numerous underlying reasons for that which have nothing to do with the broader economy. Most retailers are still making a healthy profit despite their stupidly high rents, and they're complaining just because they're not making quite as much of a profit as they had predicted they might. At the end of the day if they're making a profit then things ain't that bad! It's just that retailers have got used to the idea of making more and more profit every year, and that's not happening at the moment. So what, they're making a profit!