Wine barrels play a surprisingly crucial role in making the world's best spirits.
PETER MARTIN 12:55am What our panel got right about 2014 it got spectacularly right. What it got wrong was awfully wrong.
PETER MARTIN 12:53am Fresh from its success in forecasting correctly that the Reserve Bank would go a year without a moving its cash rate, the BusinessDay forecasting panel is predicting a second year of the same.
CLANCY YEATES 12:52am Bank warnings that tougher capital rules threaten to damage the economy have failed to convince several leading economists, who say the impact will be minor at best.
ROSS GITTINS 12:15am So, the Bureau of Statistics has spoken. But how does the bureau come up with its figures? And who believes them?
GARETH HUTCHENS 12:54am The Australian dollar has plunged to its lowest level since mid-2009, with speculation mounting that interest rates could be cut to historic lows next week.
JENS MEYER 1:00pm Lower petrol prices are putting the equivalent of two rate cuts worth of savings into the pockets of households, economists say.
STEPHEN CAUCHI 12:57am The Australian sharemarket could go as much as 10 per cent up or down over the coming year, Fairfax Media's survey of 16 economists shows.
BRIAN ROBINS To head off the impact of the "inevitable price shock" from surging domestic gas prices, the NSW government should help households and businesses to switch to electricity, away from using gas, the Australia Institute said.
Jamie Freed Qantas says the government’s strategy of allowing air capacity to grow ahead of demand had come at a cost to the national economy.
MARK MULLIGAN Headline inflation dipped below 2 per cent for the first time in two and a half years in the fourth quarter last year, giving scope to the Reserve Bank of Australia to cut interest rates.
MICHAEL PASCOE Consumer confidence is weak, wages growth flat or negative, and retailers are complaining about online competition and wages. So why are retail rents soaring?
MARK MULLIGAN Business conditions deteriorated in December and sentiment was flat, according to the latest National Australia Bank's monthly business survey.
Too much tax? Middle income Australians pay 11 cents in the dollar, says the Australian Council of Social Service
PETER MARTIN Australians pay far less tax than they believe a new report finds, and certainly far less tax than the Treasurer thinks they do.
BRIAN ROBINS NSW would face increased power blackouts and supply interruptions if power companies make planned cuts to their spending.
Jessica Gardner The private health insurance industry expects new Health Minister Sussan Ley to approve increases in premiums as high as 7 per cent this year.
BRIAN ROBINS Small and medium sized businesses are signalling diverging trends, with a large improvment in sentiment in Victoria and Tasmania offsetting increased caution in both Queensland and NSW, the quarterly Sensis Business survey has found.
STEPHEN CAUCHI The Reserve Bank should cut interest rates by 25 basis points when it meets on February 3, says Westpac chief economist Bill Evans.
The business sector is pessimistic about 2015 after a bleak Christmas sales period.
TOM ALLARD Financial market convulsions, Budget red ink, Europe on the verge of recession, falling commodity prices. Is it all as bad as it looks?
GARETH HUTCHENS The Reserve Bank is more likely to keep interest rates on hold in coming months thanks to signs of improvement in Australia’s labour market, according to economists.
MARK MULLIGAN Australia's unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped in December, surprising economists and easing pressure on the Reserve Bank of Australia to cut interest rates this year.
Job vacancies in Australia rebounded in the three months to November to hit their highest in two years, pointing to improving demand for labour.
MAX MASON The World Bank has cut its forecast for global growth in 2015 thanks to a faltering recovery in the euro zone, tighter monetary policy in developed countries, and the prospect of a deep slowdown in emerging markets, despite an expected lift from lower oil prices.
MAX MASON The Australian sharemarket barely managed to etch out a gain last year, but thanks to the surging United States dollar, companies with exposure to foreign earnings posted strong returns and are preparing to benefit even further.
Grant Smith If there ever was doubt about the strategy of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, its wealthiest members are putting that issue to rest. These countries actually want - and are achieving - further price declines as part of an attempt to hasten cutbacks by US shale drillers and preserve their market share.
MAX MASON Australian retail sales have come in softer than expected, inching just 0.1 per cent higher in November, but retailers hope that Christmas and Boxing Day sales will have boosted December numbers.
Ruth Liew The number of investors who expect the Reserve Bank of Australia to slash rates next month has increased more than sevenfold.
MAX MASON The slump in oil prices is set to boost the global economy, with crude-importing countries expected to substantially benefit, says the World Bank.
Australian approvals to build new homes surged to a record high in November as high-rise living becomes ever more fashionable and affordable, a trend that promises to underpin economic growth for some time to come.
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard The eurozone has let it happen. Europe's authorities have so mismanaged monetary and fiscal strategy that the whole currency bloc has tipped into deflation - with dire consequences.
STEPHEN CAUCHI Australia's economy will grow at the slowest rate since 2009 over the coming year, according to a pessimistic Morgan Stanley outlook for 2015. Interest rates are set to stay at a record low.
Currency traders are starting 2015 on their hottest winning streak in a decade, thanks to the divergence of monetary policy across major economies.
Vanessa Desloires A weak Australian dollar and low oil prices may provide the Australian economy with the boost needed to help keep the Reserve Bank’s finger off the interest rate trigger.
Vanessa Desloires A weak Australian dollar and low oil prices may provide the Australian economy with the boost needed to help keep the Reserve Bank of Australia’s finger off the interest rate trigger.
Low interest rates have pushed annual credit growth in Australia to a new five-year high, boosted by lending to property investors.
Su-Lin Tan While retail sales in early December were up, consumers are anxious about spending.
PETER MARTIN Like the punchline to a joke, Joe Hockey saved the best twist in the Coalition's war on wages until the end.
LUCY CORMACK Sandra Bell loves her job in childcare, but at 66 years of age she could happily retire, if not for the one thing holding her back.
David Jolly Switzerland's central bank is starting to charge banks to hold deposits, moving to push down the Swiss franc amid turmoil in global currency markets and deflation concerns.
ELIZABETH KNIGHT After 2½ years of rising prices, the housing market appears to be running out of steam.
MICHAEL WEST Joe Hockey can say what he likes. The outlook for any substantial action on multinational tax shifting is bleak.
MICHAEL PASCOE Joe Hockey's budget was deeply unpopular, but here's a sensible idea that the punters will hate even more.
Peter Martin, Nassim Khadem The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has taken aim at a raft of Australian budget measures, describing one as potentially unsustainable and another as needing close monitoring.
GARETH HUTCHENS Treasury is predicting that thousands more people will lose their jobs next year than previously thought, and economists warn that much of the burden will fall on Australia’s youth
MATT WADE Economists are asking the question after a cryptic clue in the minutes of the board's December meeting.
STEPHEN CAUCHI OPEC's decision to keep pumping out oil despite big price drops has had major ramifications for the global and Australian economies. What's going on?
MARK MULLIGAN The Reserve Bank has taken on board market expectations of an interest rate cut in 2015, but has given no indication yet that it is considering such a move.
VESNA POLJAK Treasurer Joe Hockey’s budget update has lent a further dovish element to the economic outlook which will support the case for interest rate cuts in 2015.
BRIAN ROBINS In its Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, the government has slashed to 6.75 per cent its forecast for China's economic growth for 2015.
Rick Feneley and Gareth Hutchens Since World War II, Australians have assumed their children would enjoy a better standard of living than they did. That assumption has been correct – until now. Rick Feneley and Gareth Hutchens report.