All the smaller - and occasionally bizarre or humorous - business newspieces from Australia and abroad from the past week.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures show that Australian retail turnover rose 0.7 per cent in February following a rise of 0.5 per cent in January 2015, seasonally adjusted. In seasonally adjusted terms the largest contributor to the rise was food retailing (1.2 per cent). Household goods retailing (1.8 per cent) and other retailing (1.3 per cent) also recorded rises in February 2015. There were falls in department stores (-3.2 per cent), cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-0.4 per cent) and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.2 per cent). In seasonally adjusted terms there were rises in all states and territories in February 2015. The largest contributor was New South Wales (0.7 per cent) followed by Victoria (0.8 per cent), South Australia (1.7 per cent), Western Australia (0.7 per cent), Queensland (0.2 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (1.6 per cent), the Northern Territory (2.3 per cent.) and Tasmania (0.7 per cent).
A new report from IbisWorld has found that SMEs within the Australian restaurant industry are more likely to thrive than larger operations. The report examined a number of industries dominated SMEs and found that scale within the restaurant industry was not necessarily a driving factor for success. Andrei Ivanov from IbisWorld said dental services, wine production, road freight transport, specialist medical services and restaurants are some of the industries where consolidation and traditional bolt-on acquisitions do not necessarily improve profit margins. Despite the maturity of most of these industries, Ivanov said that low market share concentration has meant that there are few major players occupying the industry playing field. Read more here.
Comparison websites Finder.com.au is expecting another official cash rate cut by June and is urging more Australians to learn how interest rate movements will affect them. The recent finder.com.au Reserve Bank Survey of 42 leading experts and economists found just 10 (24 per cent) are expecting a cash rate cut on Tuesday April 7, 2015. The remaining 32 (76 per cent) are expecting the cash rate to remain at 2.25 percent. However, the majority (31) are expecting the cash rate to fall by June 2015, with another nine experts forecasting a cut between July and September this year.
The Federal Court has ordered Actrol Parts Pty Ltd, a supplier of refrigerant gas, pay a penalty of $520,000 for making false or misleading representations around the carbon tax in proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. In its letter to customers, Actrol represented that the price increases were due to the introduction of the carbon tax scheme and changes in input costs and general market conditions. But the ACCC found that Actrol increased its prices to increase its margins and earnings on these HFC refrigerants and to take into account changes in its costs of supplying those HFCs.
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