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In The News

5 things you need to know today

  • The NAB business conditions index rose from 13.9 points in September to a record high of 21.1 points in October. The business confidence index was unchanged at 7.6 points in October, remaining above its long-run average of 5.9 points. The measure of business profitability surged from 16.6 points in September to an all-time high of 26.2 points in October.  And the weekly ANZ/Roy Morgan consumer confidence rating rose by 2% to 114.8 – its highest level in seven weeks - after falling by 0.7% in the prior week.
  • Former senator Jacqui Lambie's likely replacement Devonport Mayor Steve Martin’s eligibility to sit in Parliament is also in question because he is a serving mayor. It is yet to be tested in the courts whether a local councillor is disqualified on the grounds they hold an "office of profit under the Crown", as defined in section 44 of the Constitution. Lambie and Martin said they were relying on advice from the Senate clerk at the time of the 2016 election, Rosemary Laing, that there was no issue when he nominated for the Senate.
  • Westpac Banking Corp is trialling artificial intelligence-powered video cameras to read the mood of staff “so leadership can take the pulse of their teams across the organisation," Jayne Opperman, Westpac's general manager of business integration in the technology group, said.  It's also investigating how artificial intelligence can improve the bank's assessment of whether mortgage customers can repay loans, by tapping a broader range of financial data to be opened up by the government's "open banking" reforms.
  • In other economic news, Chinese retail sales rose at a 10% annual rate in year to October – the slowest growth in eight months. The result was below the 10.4% forecast and below the 10.3% growth in the year to September. Real retail spending was up 8.6% over the year. Industrial production in China rose at a 6.2% annual rate in October, below the forecast average (6.3%) and below the 6.6% growth in the year to September.


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Published on: Wednesday, November 15, 2017

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