Decreased Confidence In Business - Talking Business 2011 Ep 33c

A review of the week in business, with expert analysis and commentary.

Leon and Garry discuss how an NAB survey has found business confidence falling to levels last seen in 2009. A CBA survey finds that many Australians believe recent natural disasters, like the Queensland floods, have hurt their personal finances, even though that may not be the case. Consumer sentiment rises 8.1 per cent and inflation is revised down. Australian dwelling commencements fall 4.7 per cent. The IMF says the RBA can afford to sit tight on interest rates. Australia experiences a sharp rise in the number of business failures during the June quarter, putting it alongside several weakened European nations. Deloitte warns things will get worse for retailers. Research shows Australians shop online more regularly than people in most other countries. Petrol prices reach a four month high. The government introduces its carbon tax legislation. Research shows that companies that regularly measure, report and reduce their carbon emissions are more likely to outperform their competitors. The federal Treasury warns the government that the GST is becoming increasingly inefficient and loses about $15 billion a year. Steelmakers condemn the Reserve Bank of Australia and federal government over interest rates and Australian dollar. PricewaterhouseCoopers finds labour productivity drops to its second lowest level in 15 years. The new look ACCC says it will be “all over” the NBN. Telstra chief executive officer, David Thodey, urges investors to put politics and emotion aside when they vote on an $11 billion NBN. Telstra considers a buyback to appease restive shareholders. Economists warn that key aspects of the NBN business case are anti-competitive. The communications authority tells telecommunications providers to lift their game over call plans and when dealing with customer complaints. Business groups have urged the federal government to discuss industrial relations reforms at its upcoming jobs forum. The competition watchdog has put the supermarkets on notice over buying Franklins stores. Tiger Airways names Andrew David, a former senior executive at Virgin Blue, as the new boss of its troubled Australian operations. The federal government has lowered the level of insurance on bank deposits that it announced during the global financial crisis. Medical device maker Cochlear Ltd announces a recall of its line of its unimplanted Nucleus CI500 implant range, after a recent increase in the failures in its CI512 product. Australia's trade surplus balance is virtually unchanged in July. Increased production at WA mines has significantly contributes to a record $175 billion worth of resources and energy exports from Australia. Total personal finance commitments rise 0.5 per cent in July. Thai coal giant Banpu launches a $447 million play for Perth-based explorer Hunnu Coal. Westpac chief Gail Kelly says says she doesn't support forcing companies to have more women on their boards.

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Garry Barker and Leon Gettler