Australian business investment unexpectedly sank by the most in over four years last quarter and spending plans for 2014/15 heralded a deeper slowdown ahead, a blow to the economic outlook that sent the local dollar sharply lower.
The disappointing report came as Australia's iconic airline Qantas Airways announced plans to cut 5,000 jobs over the next three years to help it withstand fierce competition.
(Read more: Australia's flying kangaroo slashes 5,000 jobs)
That was just the latest high-profile company to announce job shedding and will deal another blow to consumer confidence.
The weakness in business spending was particularly worrying as the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has been counting on a revival in investment outside of mining to backstop the resource-heavy economy.