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THE NEWS WRAP: Business conditions and confidence weaken

Wednesday, 12 March 2014 | By Andrew Sadauskas

Hopes of a post-election economic boom have faded further, with business conditions and confidence now both falling, according to NAB’s latest monthly business survey.


The survey shows business conditions fell from a score of five in January to zero last month, with a score of zero being neutral, while business confidence fell to seven, down from nine a month earlier.


“As expected, the sharp turnaround in manufacturing recorded last month was largely unwound, and is now more consistent with the difficult environment that continues to face Australian manufacturers,” the report states.


“Employment conditions are sobering – having reversed nearly all post-election gains and pointing to further labour market deterioration.”


Zahra changes his mind over David Jones exit


David Jones chief executive Paul Zahra has reversed a decision to stand down from his position, following the appointment of Gordon Cairns as chairman of the retailer on Monday.


Cairns, who joins the board after the resignation of former chairman Peter Mason and two non-executive directors, says the company is yet to appoint external advisors to assess any takeover offer by rival Myer.


“Anyone we appoint from the outside would evaluate the standalone value of David Jones and compare it to the alternatives, which will leave us in a better position to judge the Myer proposal,” Cairns says.


ACMA investigation finds Telstra breached the privacy of 15,775 customers


A joint investigation by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has fined Telstra after the personal details of 15,775 customers leaked on to the internet.


The investigation found that between February 2012 and May 2013, the personal information from more than 15,775 Telstra customers, including 1257 active silent line customers, was accessible on the internet.


The investigation was launched following a complaint that the names, phone numbers and addresses had been accidentally made available to be viewed on the internet.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down to 16351.2. The Aussie dollar is down to US89.77 cents.