Candy As A Retail Barometer Of Currency Strength?

Of all of the various benchmarks to determine financial, economic and, specifically, currency exchange strength, the Baby Ruth bar test is a new one on us. But in Australia, it's being tried. Andy Adams has already bought his Christmas candy. With the Australian dollar down 12 percent in its longest losing streak since the 2008 financial crisis, he's stocking his food store early in anticipation of a further fall. "We basically doubled the size of our last order. We had to," said Adams, whose British Sweets and Treats store in the Sydney suburb of Bondi caters to U.K., Irish and American expats craving Maynards Wine Gums, Barry's Tea, and Baby Ruth bars. "We know the dollar's going to creep down, so we're trying to grab it now at a reasonable price." The weakening Aussie, which on July 3 fell below 91 U.S. cents for the first time since 2010, will push up import costs about five percent even if it ends the year at 96 U.S. cents, according to Bank of America Corp.'s Merrill Lynch unit. Retailers must choose whether to swallow higher prices and lose profits, or try to pass them on to customers and risk sales amid weak consumer confidence, the bank said. Story

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