Australian households pay different amounts to access national electricity network

Gareth Hutchens Australian households are paying far more than people in comparable countries in electricity network charges, with huge discrepancies across different states, a new report has found.

Employment

Jobless fears drive caution at Genworth despite $172.7 million profit

Genworth Australia CEO Ellie Comerford believes conditions this year will be 'subdued' and is tweaking her outlook accordingly.

Ruth Liew Genworth posted a $172.7 million statutory net profit for the six months to December, due primarily to lower than expected claims and a strong housing market.

Eco

Interest rate cut revives housing bubble fears

Narayanan Somasundaram Geoff Schippers, a mortgage broker in Sydney, has seen an increase in clients looking for homes to buy since the central bank dropped its benchmark rate to a record last week.

Business confidence stuck in the doldrums: NAB survey

Business confidence remains at close to its lowest level since the 2013 federal election.

Mark Mulligan Business confidence remained largely flat in January, while consumers took little heart from cheaper fuel and and a cut in lending rates, the results of two surveys released on Tuesday showed.

Elizabeth Knight

Abbott leadership: Canberra's 'Game of Thrones' is bad for business

Elizabeth Knight Dinkus

Elizabeth Knight The instability and uncertainty surrounding the attempt to topple Tony Abbott's crown will hurt businesses that are consumer based.

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Economy

Weakened Abbott struggling against worst economy in 24 years

Michael Heath Prime Minister Tony Abbott's diminished mandate after a leadership challenge risks making it tougher for him to address the weakest economy in a generation.

Economy

Job ad numbers lift in January: ANZ survey

Overall job ad numbers rose in January, but ads in newspapers continued to decline, ANZ reported.

Mark Mulligan Job advertisements rose for the eighth consecutive month in January, suggesting unemployment should ease in some parts of Australia in the near- to mid-term.

Harold Mitchell

Cutting interest rates hasn't worked in Europe or Japan

Harold Mitchell dinkus Dinkus

Harold Mitchell Earlier this week Louise asked what the interest rate cut means. Like most of us, she had no idea what a reduction from 2.5% to 2.25% is all about.

The economic case for changing leaders

Peter Martin

Peter Martin If Tony Abbott survives and he and Joe Hockey cobble together another budget like the last one, the opportunity for a timely reset will be lost.

Economy

Charted: Why the RBA cut rates

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Max Mason On Tuesday the RBA surprised with a new rate cut, today it explained the reasons behind its move. Here are seven charts showing what worried the RBA enough to pull the trigger.

Dire forecast led to Reserve Bank cut

The Reserve Bank released its quarterly statement on Friday.

Peter Martin The Reserve Bank board decided to cut interest rates on Tuesday after being presented with forecasts showing what would happen to employment and economic growth if it did not.

Economy

RBA revises 2015 growth forecasts, will watch housing 'carefully'

The RBA has become slightly more cautious on the economic outlook, its latest statement shows.

Jonathan Shapiro The Reserve Bank has cut its growth forecasts for the Australian economy to 2.75 per cent, but is pinning its hopes on lower interest rates and a falling dollar to drive growth beyond 2015.

PCI

PCI: Housing construction slumps in January

Australia's construction industry remains in the doldrums following a sharp slide in home building activity.

Economy

Spending binge: Global debt rises by $73 trillion since the GFC

Worrying:  Countries with high debt levels can get into economic trouble regardless of whether their debts are most heavily owed by the government, households or financial institutions.

Neil Irwin Eight years after a financial crisis brought on by high debt rocked the world, we may not have learned as much as we would like to think we have, a sobering McKinsey report shows.

Economy

Retail sales miss expectations as shoppers hold back on Christmas

Stores started Christmas sales early as consumers held back from spending even in the busiest period of the year.

Mark Mulligan Retail sales grew just 0.2 per cent in December as Christmas shoppers held back from the big hoped-for splurge, pocketing windfall savings from cheaper petrol rather than splashing out.

US

Warren Buffett sees little room for Fed to raise rates

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett:

Investment guru Warren Buffett, the billionaire chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, said it would be "very tough" for the Federal Reserve to lift interest rates this year because of the stronger US...

Michael Pascoe

RBA telling its own Australian dollar story

Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens.

Michael Pascoe There it was again in the Reserve Bank governor’s brief statement on Tuesday: a selective use of dates and statistics to tell a story about the Australian dollar.

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Hemlines down at David Jones as economy stalls

Hemlines at the David Jones' autumn/winter fashion parade were all over the place, like the fashion.

Sue Mitchell If the hemlines at David Jones' autumn/winter fashion parade are any guide, the Australian economy is going backwards.

Economy

Falling business confidence about growth suggests RBA rate cut was needed

Business man in the rain

Bianca Hartge-Hazelman Evidence that the economy desperately needed another rate cut has come from two of the latest readings on business confidence, as big bank surveys showed hopes fading just as the Australian dollar's...

Economy

More rate cuts, lower growth for Australia, predicts Goldman Sachs

Bull and bear, symbolic beasts of market trend.

Mark Mulligan Goldman Sachs has quickly reclaimed its mantle as chief economic bear on Australia, reiterating its downbeat assessment of the country's growth prospects and predicting another 25 basis point cut in...