Lots of gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands in the media on the question of why people have stopped spending.
It's simple. We've got enough stuff.
I've spent the last decade staring at people in shopping malls. Every weekend I would see them. Droves. Carrying lots of bags. Just like the Christmas crowds used to be for the first three quarters of my life.
"What are they buying?", I'd wonder. I kept waiting for it to stop or slow down, thinking that it was a response to the cheap imports from China - a binge that would slow down to a trickle once people accumulated enough trinkets.
Then I started telling myself that it must be people who were moving into Sydney - the newspapers were full of stories about the people squashing into the city, driving up rents and house prices and so on.
But in the end it's even simpler than that. The shoppers were you and me and now we've got enough stuff.
My cupboards are full. I've got enough sheets, blankets, clothes, crockery, shoes, furniture, Xmas wrapping paper, socks, glasses and appliances to last me for many years.
At my local shopping mall the shops are almost exclusively full of clothes for young women. No supermarket. No food shops. Not much really. Just lots and lots and lot of clothes shops. And the clothes are crappily made. I wouldn't buy them, even allowing for my middle-aged cluelessness about what's fashionable at the moment. And yet, those shops are empty.
It had to happen sooner or later.