Economic News

  • GOP-controlled House nears vote on budget to erase deficits Associated Press - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 8:29 AM AEDT
    GOP-controlled House nears vote on budget to erase deficits

    Normally quarrelsome House Republicans lined up Wednesday to pass a boldly conservative budget that relies on nearly $5 trillion in spending cuts to eliminate deficits over the next decade, calls for repealing ...

  • CNH Tumbles Following Manufacturing PMI Release DailyFX - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 7:28 AM AEDT

    CNH Tumbles Following Manufacturing PMI Release

  • House panel votes to repeal federal estate tax Associated Press - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 7:13 AM AEDT

    A divided House panel has passed a bill that would repeal the federal estate tax. Republicans say abolishing the tax would help farmers and small business owners keep their businesses in the family. Democrats ...

  • US durable goods orders stumbled in February Associated Press - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 5:53 AM AEDT
    US durable goods orders stumbled in February

    Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods fell in February, the latest installment of disappointing data this quarter that suggests the economy has hit a soft patch. The weaker-than-expected ...

  • Congressional Budget Office: Medicare doc bill cost $214B Associated Press - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 4:59 AM AEDT

    The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the bipartisan House deal protecting doctors from steep cuts in Medicare fees would cost $214 billion over the coming decade. In a letter to House Speaker ...

  • Final shots at budget before the next one AAP - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 3:31 AM AEDT

    Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten will clash in parliament for the last time before the May 12 budget. The sitting week ends on Thursday before the long Easter break. While Treasurer Joe Hockey will be using ...

  • IMF warns Ireland to maintain fiscal path AFP - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 8:54 PM AEDT
    IMF warns Ireland to maintain fiscal path

    The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday warned Ireland against a giveaway budget ahead of next year's general election but backed calls for greater spending flexibility from the European Commission. ...

  • No mineral royalty rate hike in WA AAP - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 8:16 PM AEDT

    There will be no changes to mineral royalty rates in this year's West Australian state budget, and questions are now being raised about cash already booked for the revenue source. After a review of the state's royalty system, mines and petroleum minister Bill Marmion said on Wednesday that 18 recommendations had been "noted" but none would be adopted in 2015/16. Opposition treasury spokesman Ben Wyatt then asked Treasurer Mike Nahan in parliament where $560 million in revenue booked in the 2014/15 economic and fiscal outlook for the next three financial years would come from. The gold industry, which has campaigned hard against any increases to the sector's rate, welcomed the news that there would be no royalty hikes for now.

  • Abolish the IRS? Easy to say, but awfully hard to do Associated Press - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 6:39 PM AEDT
    Abolish the IRS? Easy to say, but awfully hard to do

    Promising to abolish the Internal Revenue Service is a good talking point for political candidates who are looking to fire up the Republicans' most conservative voters. It's also unlikely to ever happen, ...

  • Dollar Staves Off Another Reversal Risk DailyFX - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 3:45 PM AEDT

    Dollar Staves Off Another Reversal Risk

  • Bank of China net profit up 8% in 2014 AFP - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 12:15 PM AEDT
    Bank of China net profit up 8% in 2014

    Bank of China said Wednesday it saw a year-on-year net profit gain of eight percent in 2014 helped by stable growth in the Chinese economy, despite a slow recovery in global markets. It recorded a net profit of 169.60 billion yuan ($27.29 billion) last year, up 8.08 percent from 156.91 billion yuan in 2013, it said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange. The country's GDP growth of 7.4 percent last year was the slowest in nearly a quarter of a century, prompting the government to loosen monetary policy in an attempt to boost the economy. The central People's Bank of China has cut interest rates twice since November, while also reducing the reserve requirement ratio -- the percentage of funds banks must hold in reserve -- in a bid to increase lending.

  • German business confidence hits eight-month high in March AFP - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 11:59 AM AEDT
    German business confidence hits eight-month high in March

    German business confidence rose to its highest level in eight months in March, as optimism continues to grow about the outlook for Europe's biggest economy, the Ifo economic institute said Wednesday. The Ifo institute's closely watched business climate index rose to 107.9 points this month, its highest level since July 2014, the think tank said in a statement. "Companies were more satisfied with their current business situation. They also expressed far greater optimism about future business developments," said Ifo president Hans-Werner Sinn.

  • Oil price fall forces North Dakota to consider austerity Associated Press - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 10:06 AM AEDT
    Oil price fall forces North Dakota to consider austerity

    Two years ago, North Dakota was so flush with money from the energy boom that lawmakers spent over $1 million to spruce up the cafe at the state Capitol. Now, the fall in oil prices has tightened the revenue ...

  • GOP moves ahead on budget plans; eyes Obamacare repeal bill Associated Press - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 9:42 AM AEDT

    House and Senate Republicans steamed ahead Tuesday toward likely approval of balanced budget outlines, essential early steps along a path to send President Barack Obama legislation to wipe out his five-year-old ...

  • Walker dismisses report of big Menard donation, tax breaks Associated Press - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 9:29 AM AEDT

    Likely presidential candidate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday dismissed a report that he helped steer tax credits and eased up on environmental oversight to benefit national hardware chain Menards ...

  • APNewsBreak: 9,000 Mainers lose food stamps under new rules Associated Press - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 8:59 AM AEDT

    More than 9,000 Maine residents have been removed from the state's food stamp program since Republican Gov. Paul LePage's administration began enforcing work and volunteer requirements late last year, ...

  • Atlantic City emergency plan: Layoffs, no bankruptcy filing Associated Press - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 7:46 AM AEDT

    Two emergency managers appointed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to turn around Atlantic City's troubled finances recommend layoffs and deep spending cuts, but don't foresee a bankruptcy filing for the ...

  • Boston Olympic group urges statewide referendum on 2024 bid Associated Press - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 6:43 AM AEDT

    The group behind Boston's bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics said Tuesday that it wants the residents of Massachusetts to decide whether the effort to bring the games to the city should go forward. John ...

  • AP: South Carolina's anti-debt gov OK'd $1B in borrowing Associated Press - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 4:25 AM AEDT

    Gov. Nikki Haley helped kill a plan by fellow Republicans in the South Carolina House to borrow $500 million for building projects, accusing them of running up the state's "credit card" debt. ...

  • Hockey sells positive budget message AAP - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 3:31 AM AEDT

    Treasurer Joe Hockey will continue to gee-up his fellow cabinet members and government backbenchers to promote a positive message for this year's budget. With just seven weeks to go before the May 12 budget and just a few days before the start of the parliamentary Easter recess, Mr Hockey laid out his budget strategy in a slideshow to a government party room meeting on Tuesday. Mr Hockey was trying to clear-up any confusion over the budget strategy after Prime Minister Tony Abbott predicted the budget would be a "dull" affair.

  • Higher gas costs lift US consumer prices after 3 declines Associated Press - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 3:11 AM AEDT
    Higher gas costs lift US consumer prices after 3 declines

    A slight rise in gas costs and broad increases in other categories lifted consumer prices in February, a welcome sign after three straight months of declines that had pointed to excessively low inflation. ...

  • Europe shares end higher; Lufthansa hit by plane crash CNBC - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 3:02 AM AEDT

    European equities finished higher on Tuesday, rising from session lows, as investors reacted to fresh economic data from the euro zone.

  • Higher gas costs lift US consumer prices 0.2 percent Associated Press - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 12:32 AM AEDT
    Higher gas costs lift US consumer prices 0.2 percent

    A modest rebound in gas costs and broad gains in other categories lifted consumer prices for the first time in four months, a sign inflation may be stabilizing. The consumer price index rose 0.2 percent ...

  • Higher gas costs lifts US consumer prices 0.2 percent Associated Press - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 11:48 PM AEDT
    Higher gas costs lifts US consumer prices 0.2 percent

    A modest rebound in gas costs and broad gains in other categories lifted consumer prices for the first time in four months, a sign inflation may be stabilizing. The consumer price index rose 0.2 percent ...

  • AP Exclusive: GOP hits Medicaid to offset doc fee hikes Associated Press - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 10:22 PM AEDT
    AP Exclusive: GOP hits Medicaid to offset doc fee hikes

    House Republicans quietly deepened recommended budget savings from the government's chief health care program for the poor by about $140 billion in recent weeks to offset part of the cost of higher payments ...

  • Report says China manufacturing at lowest in nearly a year Associated Press - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 10:17 PM AEDT

    China's manufacturing fell to the lowest level in nearly a year as new orders shrank, according to a report Tuesday that underscored the weakening outlook for the world's second biggest economy. HSBC's ...

  • ASIC penalties, budget cuts slammed AAP - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 9:46 PM AEDT
    ASIC penalties, budget cuts slammed

    The head of the corporate regulator says his organisation is under funded and penalties for corporate crime are as light as a feather. Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) chairman Greg Medcraft has confirmed there will be another hit to to its funding in the 2015/16 federal budget. "It's already locked in, the forward estimates are showing a $15.8 million dollar cut to us," he told ASIC's annual forum. The May 2014 budget flagged a cut of $120 million to ASIC's funding over four years.

  • British pound's swings cause uncertainty for business Associated Press - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 9:06 PM AEDT
    British pound's swings cause uncertainty for business

    The British pound is getting caught between the dollar's surge and the euro's slump, and its swings are shaking things up for business just as uncertainty grows over a potentially tight general election. ...

  • Eurozone economy gaining traction as survey near 4-year high Associated Press - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 8:55 PM AEDT
    Eurozone economy gaining traction as survey near 4-year high

    The economy across the 19-country eurozone appears to be gaining momentum as a closely-watched survey Tuesday found business activity hit a near four-year high in March. In its monthly survey, financial ...

  • German foreign minister hails 'improved tone' in Greek ties AFP - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 8:23 PM AEDT
    German foreign minister hails 'improved tone' in Greek ties

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier welcomed an improved tone in discussions with debt-mired Greece, after meeting visiting Greek premier Alexis Tsipras Tuesday. Steinmeier spoke with Tsipras at his hotel in central Berlin one day after the Greek leader held crunch talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in which both called for an end to the bitter recriminations the countries have traded in recent weeks. "I am pleased that the tone in the German-Greek talks in recent days has clearly changed and clearly improved," Steinmeier, who also met his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias in Berlin late Sunday, told reporters. He said a warmer relationship was not a "solution" to the debt crisis "but it is undoubtedly key for serious discussions with each other in the coming days".

  • Ukraine appeals to G20 for more financial aid AFP - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 6:52 PM AEDT
    Ukraine appeals to G20 for more financial aid

    Ukraine needs greater financial aid from the world's biggest economies, Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko said in London on Tuesday, warning against "fatigue and cynicism" in the international community. "I did ask the British government as I've asked others in the G7 and the broader G20 to continue and increase the support for Ukraine," Jaresko said in a speech to the Chatham House think tank. The minister said Ukraine needed more humanitarian aid and defensive military equipment, as well as requesting that sanctions against Russia be upheld. The International Monetary Fund and the West have pledged a bailout totalling $40 billion (37 billion euros) for Ukraine, which is fighting a war with pro-Russian separatists in the east.

  • Hungary cuts base interest rate after 8-month break AFP - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 5:39 PM AEDT
    Hungary cuts base interest rate after 8-month break

    Hungary's central bank MNB cut its main interest rate to a record low of 1.95 percent on Tuesday, the first reduction in eight months, in a move seen as staving off further deflation. The MNB's rate-setting Monetary Council cut the benchmark rate by 15 basis points from 2.10 percent, the first drop since last July when it ended a two-year-long easing cycle aimed at boosting growth that brought the rate down from 7.0 percent. A cut was expected by analysts due to Hungary's inflation rate, which has dipped under zero to record lows in recent months, mainly due to government-mandated cuts in household utility prices and low fuel prices. In February the inflation rate rose to minus 1.0 percent, up from minus 1.4 the previous month, but well below the MNB's medium-term target of 3.0 percent.

  • Consumer confidence ticks higher AAP - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 5:03 PM AEDT
    Consumer confidence ticks higher

    Consumer confidence is beginning to improve, but economists warn that the federal budget and possible further interest rate cuts by the RBA hold the key to a solid recovery. The latest ANZ-Roy Morgan confidence index rose 0.5 per cent in the week ending March 22, building on a similar rise the previous week. He sees the next key tests for consumer confidence as another cut to the cash rate by the Reserve Bank in coming months and the May federal budget. Money markets expect the Reserve Bank to cut the cash rate to a fresh record low in April or May.

  • Budget savings will be responsible:Hockey AAP - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 1:48 PM AEDT
    Budget savings will be responsible:Hockey

    Treasurer Joe Hockey has promised his coalition colleagues that savings in his second budget will be responsible and fair. Mr Hockey gave a slideshow presentation to a government parties room meeting on Tuesday in an attempt to clear up any confusion among edgy backbenchers over his budget strategy. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has clouded the run-up to the May 12 budget by predicting a "dull" affair, which business has taken to mean the government is going soft on reform. Mr Hockey argued the mid-year review showed the budget was on track to return to surplus, despite a weaker global outlook, a collapse in the iron ore price and the status of the Senate.

  • Hockey gives budget slideshow to MPs AAP - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 12:18 PM AEDT
    Hockey gives budget slideshow to MPs

    Treasurer Joe Hockey has given a slideshow presentation to coalition MPs in an attempt to clear up any confusion over his budget strategy. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has clouded the run-up to the May 12 budget by predicting a "dull" affair, which business has taken to mean the government is going soft on reform. Mr Hockey's presentation to a government parties room meeting on Tuesday shows the budget will aim to build a stronger economy through a small business package, childcare reform and infrastructure investment while reaping the benefits of recent free-trade agreements.