The big question for economists this week was just how bad the outlook for business investment is.
The quarterly survey of business capital expenditure - or capex, as it's known - from the Australian Bureau of Statistics is a bellwether for the economy.
Economists have been wondering just how steeply, and quickly, the mining investment boom will fade.
"Mining Capex: Over the Cliff We Go", was the self-explanatory title of a report on the data from ANZ economists Dylan Eades and Felicity Emmett.
The survey foreshadowed a sizeable fall in mining investment, they said.
"The result was mostly driven by a sharp decline in mining investment plans, while non-mining investment intentions remained subdued."
At UBS, economist Scott Haslem also used the hard-to-resist metaphor in his report: "Capex - the 2014/15 cliff appears".
He said the survey, based on the past relationship between capex plans and outcomes, point to a fall of 11 per cent in the in 2014/15 for capex overall.
But he said the outcome could turn out to be better than that.
"The question is whether the recent jump in business confidence signals some improvement ahead," Mr Haslem said.
Michael Turner, economist at Royal Bank of Canada, said the focus was on the decline in capex from its peak in 2013.
"In sum, the news is not good," he said in a report whose title warned that "the hole approaches".
Presumably it's a hole with steep, cliff-like sides.
"The fall in mining plans is significant, implying an approximately 18 percent drop, yet arguably more disappointing were the minimal signs of a pick-up in the non-mining sectors," he said.
Commonwealth Bank economists Diana Mousina and Gareth Aird agreed.
"The mining to non-mining growth transition over the next year is likely to be patchy, which suggests that sub-trend growth and softness in the labour market will continue over the near-term."
Westpac's Andrew Hanlan also said the figures confirmed a "sharp" downturn in mining capex.
"That emphasises the importance of successfully achieving a rotation of growth towards the non-mining sectors," he said.
"Any slippage on this transition (say from a retreat in consumer confidence and consumer spending) would be cause for concern."
But economists do try to look on the bright side.
On Friday the Reserve Bank of Australia released figures showing a modest acceleration in credit growth in December and January.
ANZ economists David Cannington and Paul Braddick said the momentum was the strongest in four years, reflecting low interest rates and better business and household confidence.
But no-one was getting really carried away.
"Despite the pickup, credit growth is still well-contained and annual growth is well below its long-run average," St George Bank economist Janu Chan said.
And JP Morgan's Tom Kennedy summed it up in a report titled "Another run of the mill Aussie credit report".
"Although an improvement on the past few years, this growth rate is well below the long-term average, coming in at around half of the 2000 - 2008 average rate," he said.