Ominous for Australia is the fact its biggest earner, iron ore, is on the wane.
One year ago it was dubbed the second-best business on earth behind the production of Apple iPads, but now Rio Tinto is cutting scores of senior staff from its West Australian iron ore division.
About 50 people were told late on Wednesday that their roles were no longer needed within the division, which ranks as the most profitable business in Australia's most lucrative export industry. It also is Rio's flagship, contributing close to 80 per cent of earnings.
But that exalted status has not saved it from the sort of job cuts that have swept the rest of the Australian economy in recent years (here).Another sign of worse to come.