Weekly Digest – 06 March 2024

Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

Inflation remains flat at 3.4% in January, fuelling hopes of RBA interest rate cut

Inflation remained flat in January at a two-year low, helped by falling prices for meat and seafood, stoking hopes the Reserve Bank may bring forward interest rate cuts.

NAB CEO on the economy, simplification, and the future of banking

NAB CEO Ross McEwan has expressed optimism about the state of the economy, while also noting the need to reduce red tape to better support the growth of small businesses in Australia. In a wide-ranging discussion at the Australian Banking Association and Trans-Tasman Business Circle ‘Economic Forecast 2024’ event in Sydney, Mr McEwan said both the Australian and New Zealand economies had been resilient amid challenging conditions.

Weak consumer spending won’t stop price rises

Tepid consumer spending on discretionary items, such as sporting equipment and liquor, won’t stop businesses pushing through more price increases for phone and internet plans, insurance and other household necessities, chief executives say.

‘Too much optimism’: Investors nervous despite resilient recent earnings

Despite being cautiously optimistic about company earnings this month, some investors and economists are preparing for tough times ahead amid sticky inflation risks and continued consumer weakness, while markets wait for a rate cut.

The ASX hit fresh records this week, but that doesn’t mean the economy is OK

Stocks on Wall Street are trading at record highs, the Australian stock market hit a fresh closing high yesterday, and the property market is producing its own records — assets are performing extremely well for investors. As for the economy? It’s “quite weak”, treasurer Jim Chalmers notes. It’s a conundrum because many industry professionals traditionally tie the upward movements of financial markets with strong growth in the economy.

Australians lose nearly $1 billion a year in card surcharges and the RBA has warned banks it has to stop

Analysis based on data from the RBA reveals Australians are losing $960.26 million a year in surcharges when they pay with their cards instead of using cash.

The R&D tax incentive deadline is approaching. Here’s what businesses should know

The cost of doing business is rising, economic conditions are harsh, and organisations across the spectrum are searching for ways to trim their overheads and operational costs. While balancing this financial tightrope, many businesses remain unaware of a generous tax benefit that fosters innovation and growth — the Research and Development Tax Incentive (R&DTI).

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