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THE NEWS WRAP: Gerry Harvey warns of job losses if consumer spending doesn't improve

Thursday, 1 March 2012 | By Oliver Milman

The Australian economy will suffer from a raft of job losses and business failures unless consumer spending picks up, retail kingpin Gerry Harvey has warned.

 

Harvey, who yesterday revealed that Harvey Norman’s half-year earnings had dropped by 17.7%, told The Age that a number of struggling businesses had approached him to buy them out, only for him to turn down the opportunities.

 

''They are struggling, you have got businesses out there at the moment where the doors are open but they have no net assets … I'd have no doubt I could buy any one of them, but I don't want them and neither does anyone else,” he said. “They are all failed businesses now.'' 

 

 

Murdoch resigns News International role

 

James Murdoch has resigned as executive chairman of News International, in the wake of the highly damaging phone hacking scandal in the UK.

 

Murdoch, who was in charge of UK newspapers including the News of the World and The Sun when allegations of phone hacking surfaced, will relocate to New York to become News Corp’s deputy chief operating officer.

 

 

Bernanke warning over US economy

 

Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, has warned that the US’ economic recovery is bumpy and modest.

 

Speaking to members of the US Congress, Bernanke said that although unemployment was falling faster than expected, the jobs market "remains far from normal". 

 

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 4.69 points, or less than 0.1%, to 13,000.43. The Australian dollar fell to 107.74 US cents.