Growth

Stevens says companies lack 'animal spirit' to drive growth

Mark Mulligan Companies’ focus on returning cash to shareholders might be stifling much-needed investment in new production to rebalance the Australian economy away from mining, Reserve Bank of Australia...

Tech

Tumblr to analyse selfies for #brands

Tumblr is thought to be the first site actively attempting to analyse pictures for content.

Luke Malpass From this week, every photo of you posted online, could be scanned for commercially useful clues about what you like to eat, drink, wear or listen to.

Economy

No recession ... yet, but we're not invulnerable

A matter of timing: RBA governor Glenn Stevens.

Bianca Hartge-Hazelman Australia’s golden era of growth without recession is now stretching out more than two decades – but economists see weaknesses that could put an end to the unprecedented run.

Eco

RBA says 'uncertainty' is keeping interest rates low

Glenn Stevens

Michael Heath Australia's central bank said the nation's economic outlook remains uncertain because of the conflicting forces at play and reiterated that interest rates are set to remain on hold.

Tax

Peter Costello backs retailers' calls to lower online GST threshold

Former treasurer Peter Costello.

Sue Mitchell Former federal treasurer Peter Costello has backed the campaign for a reduction in the $1000 GST-free threshold for overseas online retailers.

Michael Pascoe

How far will the wealth effect stretch?

Perhaps Clive Palmer should take tea with the  House of Representatives economics committee.

Michael Pascoe It can’t be easy fitting in a normal MP’s duties around all the lunch and dinner dates Clive Palmer is enjoying with federal ministers.

Eco

Australia's misery index at a six-year high

The RBA has lowered its growth and inflation forecasts for the year ahead, citing its expectation that mining investment will “decline much further” and budget cuts at the state and federal level

A deepening gloom across the largest developed economy to escape recession during the global financial crisis is shaping up as one of the toughest challenges yet for Reserve Bank of Australia chief...

Economy

Consumers looking more upbeat in August

The latest figures suggest much of the damage to consumer confidence from the May budget has been repaired, Westpac says.

Mark Mulligan Consumer confidence has picked up since May's unpopular Federal budget, though it remains below the highs seen after the Coalition swept to power last September.

Business lift at odds with consumer confidence

Standstill: Retail continues to lag.

Mark Mulligan Business confidence is back near the post-election highs of last September, according to one survey, while another says consumer sentiment remains weak.

Economy

As jobless numbers climb, RBA is perilously close to a rare mistake

RBA.

William Pesek Glenn Stevens is perilously close to making the kind of policy mistake that's been so rare at the RBA.

Economy

Australian house prices up 1.8pc in June quarter

20110528.  BRW.  Torquay. Generic Real Estate.  Property, for sale, sold, housing, growth, development, housing market, greater melbourne, home, residential, real estate, home buyer, rent, lease, land, interest rates, building.

Photograph by Arsineh Houspian.  +(61) 401 320 173.  arsineh@arsineh.com

Australian capital city house prices rose 1.8 per cent in the June quarter, official figures show.

Economy

Australian business conditions best in four years - survey

Business confidence is improving but Australian companies remain reluctant to add more staff.

A measure of Australian business conditions hit the highest in four years in July as firms reported a sharp pick up in sales and profitability, though many remained reluctant to hire new workers.

Eco

Penalty rates need to change, says Abbott government minister

“We cannot go on in a society where we are charging people on a day which is a normal operating day, double what you would on any other,”: Assistant Infrastructure Minister Jamie Briggs

Nassim Khadem An Abbott government minister has said business should help the government make the case for lowering penalty rates paid to millions of workers on Sundays and public holidays.

Eco

Commercial finance lending jumps

160 sussex street, sydney, image supplied

Stephen Cauchi Commercial finance lending is up 12.1 per cent in June, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released on Monday morning.

Employment

'Unsustainable' labour costs crippling restaurant industry

“We’re saying outsource everything you possibly can,” RCA chief executive John Hart said.

Joanna Mather The restaurant industry is encouraging members to automate and outsource as much as possible to save money in the face of “unsustainable” labour costs.

Economy

Home loans rise 0.2 per cent in June

Economists had expected home loans to rise by 0.5 per cent.

The number of home loans approved in June rose 0.2 per cent, ABS figures show.

Econocrats advise false economy

Ross Gittins dinkus

Ross Gittins Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott shouldn’t take all the blame for the low quality of the measures in the budget.

Eco

RBA says rates will stay on hold, unemployment to stay high

Michael Heath The Reserve Bank of Australia cut its growth and inflation forecasts amid a steeper drop in mining investment and reiterated interest rates will remain on hold.

Tech

ATO reveals web-chat for business

Nassim Khadem The Tax Office is launching a web-chat service, called “click to chat”, so small ­business owners can talk to the regulator directly, in a bid to cut costs.

Malcolm Maiden

Central banks hold the line as geopolitical tensions increase

Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens

Malcolm Maiden The Reserve Bank completed a trifecta of central banking economic assessments with its statement on monetary policy on Friday.