The week in brief May 5 2015

All the smaller - and occasionally bizarre or humorous - business newspieces from Australia and abroad from the past week.

All the smaller - and occasionally bizarre or humorous - business newspieces from Australia and abroad from the past week.


Federal Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson has welcomed the ACCC’s latest carbon monitoring report, which shows that significant cost savings from the removal of the carbon tax are being passed on to consumers. The report covers the March 2015 quarter in the electricity, natural gas, synthetic greenhouse gas, landfill, construction material, manufacturing and domestic passenger air transport services industries. It shows that all entities in the electricity and natural gas sectors apart from one small entity have passed through all savings. The ACCC has completed its assessment of the representations made by domestic airlines about the effect of the carbon tax repeal on their air fares and does not propose any further action. The consumer watchdog will continue to engage with landfill operators to confirm how they will use the funds they have collected for future carbon tax liabilities given the carbon tax has been repealed. A copy of the ACCC’s report is available here.

According to Dun & Bradstreet’s latest Business Expectations Survey, 49 per cent of businesses expect no impact from the forthcoming Federal Budget, while 23 per cent are unsure, 15 per cent anticipate a negative effect and 13 per cent a positive outcome. The findings suggest that businesses are expecting the Budget to be ‘dull and boring’, as promised by the government. Despite this sentiment, the survey’s Business Expectations Index for Q3 2015 has fallen to 14.9 points, down from 20.7 points in the previous quarter and 19.5 points at the same time last year, in a correction to the generally improving outlook measured between late 2013 and late 2014. The Business Expectations Index is an aggregate of the survey’s measures of sales, profits, employment and investment expectations; which have all fallen through 2015.

There’s a burgeoning niche industry brewing up a storm overseas, but is being stilted locally due to irregular, confusing laws. We’re talking electronic cigarettes – and we’re talking big bikkies.In Britain, the e-cigarette industry is forecast to be worth $23 billion by 2023.In the US, where the market has hit the $1.5 billion mark, sales are set to increase almost 25 per cent annually until 2018.Yet, Australian businesses hoping to light up the local market may miss out due to laws across Australia are irregular at best and downright confusing at worst. In NSW and Victoria, it is legal to sell e-cigarettes that do not contain nicotine. However, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland ban the sale of products designed to resemble tobacco products. Read more here.



It’s seems our economic outlook is so dire that  the Poms feel the need to have a crack at us. The Guardian reports that
new forecasts show deficits over the next four years blowing out by $47bn in just the past six months due to plummeting commodity prices and the rejection of last year’s budget savings, new forecasts show.Deloitte Access Economics’s annual budget monitor forecasts this year’s deficit will be almost $46bn ($5.5bn worse than predicted in the December budget update). It says the 2015-16 deficit will be $5.3bn ($14bn worse) and predicts a deterioration of $14.5bn in 2016-17 and $12.6bn in 2017-18. Read more here.



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