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Economist dismisses dollar-pound exchange strength

1:18PM | Thursday, 19 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Companies looking to do business in the United Kingdom shouldn’t expect any short-term gains, an economist says, despite the Australian dollar hitting a 27-year high against the British pound.

Consumer sentiment edges up

1:38PM | Wednesday, 18 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment increased by 2.4% in January to 97.1 points, but the increase has been described as a “somewhat disappointing” result by a leading economist.

Patent attorneys under fire over “crippling” fees

1:00PM | Tuesday, 17 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Australia’s patent attorneys have come under attack for charging too much for patent filing, with claims that some attorneys charge as much as $150,000 to file patents overseas.

Australian businesses optimistic despite global conditions: Report

1:45PM | Friday, 13 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Australian business owners are “largely optimistic” about 2012, according to a Grant Thornton report, but expect to see a decrease in exports amid global economic uncertainty.

Hospitality sector calls for special treatment over wages

1:06PM | Thursday, 12 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

The hospitality sector shouldn’t have to pay penalty rates on weekends and public holidays, a leading industry group says, because businesses in the sector are struggling to keep their doors open.

Start-ups set to be hit by rising credit card costs

1:10PM | Tuesday, 10 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Credit card interest rates will continue to rise despite a drop in the official cash rate, according to research firm Canstar, spelling bad news for start-ups planning to spend on credit this year.

No growth for retail in November: ABS

1:52PM | Monday, 9 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Retail sales remained flat in November, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, after increases of 0.2% and 0.3% in October and September respectively.

Heinz closure prompts renewed call for Supermarket Ombudsman

1:26PM | Friday, 6 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

The Australian Food and Grocery Council has renewed its call for the Federal Government to appoint a Supermarket Ombusdman, following the closure of a Heinz factory in Victoria.

Only a third of consumers purchase sale items: Report

1:36PM | Friday, 6 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Only 36% of Australian consumers buy products on sale, according to a new report, while 83% identify quality as the most important factor, suggesting retailers cannot rely on discounting to remedy sluggish sales.

Services sector struggles to enter positive territory

1:00PM | Thursday, 5 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

The services sector remained in negative territory in December, according to the latest Australian Performance of Services Index, with ongoing weakness across consumer-related sub-sectors.

$1 starting price for iPhone app highlights developers’ struggles

1:20PM | Wednesday, 4 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

A mobile app developer is selling his iPhone app on eBay for a starting price of $1 to escape the costs associated with the app, suggesting the market is becoming less viable for smaller players.

Retailers gloomy over first quarter prospects: Report

1:48PM | Tuesday, 3 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Retailers remain pessimistic about their performance in the first quarter, according to a Dun & Bradstreet report, with expectations down 26 points compared with the same period in 2011.

Retailers warned not to follow department store discounts

12:50PM | Wednesday, 21 December 2011 | Michelle Hammond

Retailers need to look beyond discounting as part of their post-Christmas sales strategy, an expert says, as Myer and David Jones promise to go head to head with record Boxing Day sales.

Business groups welcome Fair Work Act review

12:28PM | Wednesday, 21 December 2011 | Michelle Hammond

Business groups have welcomed the Federal Government’s plan to review the Fair Work Act, although concerns have been raised over the areas the government will focus on.

Health and home improvement sectors set for 2012 surge: Report

12:38PM | Tuesday, 20 December 2011 | Michelle Hammond

Gyms and hardware retailers are among the businesses tipped to cash in on consumers’ good intentions in 2012, according to IBISWorld, with a big focus on health and home improvement.

Business sales record third consecutive rise

12:16PM | Tuesday, 20 December 2011 | Michelle Hammond

Consumers continue to increase their appetite for spending, after the Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator increased by 0.3% in November, with good news for clothing retailers.

Retailers urged to respond to “technology-induced recession”

12:45PM | Thursday, 15 December 2011 | Michelle Hammond

Australia’s battered retail sector is in a “technology-induced recession”, according to a new report by the Commonwealth Bank, but experts say this should prompt start-ups to innovate.

Consumer sentiment falls 8.3% in December

12:40PM | Wednesday, 14 December 2011 | Michelle Hammond

Consumer sentiment fell by 8.3% in December, its lowest level since August this year.

Report blames retail rents for high product prices

12:33PM | Wednesday, 14 December 2011 | Michelle Hammond

Exorbitant retail rents are to blame for high retail prices, according to a new report, adding weight to the Productivity Commission’s recommendations on planning and zoning.

Business conditions improve despite Euro crisis

12:43PM | Tuesday, 13 December 2011 | Michelle Hammond

Business conditions improved slightly in November, according to NAB’s Monthly Business Survey, while business confidence was unchanged despite the ongoing European debt crisis.

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