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ASX up, trade surplus and 5 other things to start your day

A shipping container ship and the ASX board showing price changes.
The ASX is expected to rise this morning and Australia's trade surplus exceeded expectations. (Source: Getty)

ASX: The local share market is expected to rise again this morning after US stocks edged up overnight.

Trade: Australia is still shipping more stuff out than we are bringing in, delivering a strong trade surplus of $13.2 billion in November.

The data outperformed, with experts expecting to see a cooler $11.3 billion surplus for the following month.

Generation gap: Aussie children born in lower-income families have a good shot at improving their lot in life by international standards, but it's getting harder for younger generations to earn more than their parents.

New government research shows Australia is on par with Sweden and streaks ahead of the US when it comes to income mobility.

Devastating impact: Floods and other natural disasters impacted almost seven out of 10 Australians last year, causing $5 billion in economic activity losses..

Treasurer Jim Chalmers will lead an inspection of rebuilding efforts in northern NSW today, as he works on further support measures in the May Budget.

Cheap travel: Budget airline Bonza has been cleared to fly in Australia, with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority issuing it an air operator's licence.

The low-cost carrier is expected to travel to 17 destinations across the country, 93 per cent of which are not served by any other airline.

Pay us: A major Queensland hospitality company faces claims for back pay after the Fair Work Commission found it denied penalty rates and gave workers no benefit in exchange.

The commission ruled that Mantle Group Hospitality, which owns Jimmy's on the Mall in Brisbane's Queen Street as well as five Pig N' Whistle pubs and James Squire brew houses in Brisbane, Sydney and the Gold Coast, used a vote involving five employees to deny overtime and holiday pay rates.

Burning up: Last year was the fifth or sixth hottest on record, depending on the data set, the World Meteorological Organisation said in a report.

The result means it is among the eight hottest on record, all of which were in the years after 2014.

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