Australian Shoppers wary of splashing out with credit cards, David Jones reports

Australian consumers are still keeping their credit and debit cards firmly in their wallets, despite the fact that the domestic economy is continuing to improve.

That is according to David Jones, which has reported a 2.7 per cent drop in sales over the final quarter of 2010 when compared to the same three-month period of the previous year.

Releasing the figures, the department store's chief executive Paul Zahra noted that consumer sentiment has yet to improve in line with the economic cycle, with many everyday Australians still wary of splashing the cash, preferring instead to pay off their credit cards or focus on their home loans.

"People are paying their mortgages down, and people that don't have debt to pay down are saving their money," he told ABC.

He added, however: "At some point the sun will shine again but, you know, it's just about when."

This comes just days after Australian consumers were warned to brace themselves for a rise in food prices as the longer-term cost of the floods hits home.

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