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Business news and updates: Daily roundup (July 29, 2021)

Dynamic Business brings you a daily rundown of the most recent business news and developments from Australia and around the world. Here’s the roundup for July 29: 

CBA, ANZ cut economic forecasts amid extended lockdowns

Australia’s economy is set for a dramatic fall in the current September quarter, as the cost of Sydney’s extended lockdown blows out to many billions of dollars.

ANZ is forecasting a 1.3 per cent economic contraction in the current quarter, CBA a 2.7 per cent slump.

CBA’s forecast means an economic hit to Australia of more than $13 billion. Both banks expect more financial support to come from the federal and NSW governments and the Reserve Bank

Post-lockdown cash support for Vic business

Victorian businesses hit hard by repeated coronavirus lockdowns are being given a $400 million helping hand.

The joint state and federally-funded package announced on Wednesday includes $5000 grants for about 30,000 businesses hit by capacity limits under the current public health restrictions.

Twenty-four sectors are eligible including gyms, cafes, restaurants, catering services and hairdressers.

Businesses in Melbourne’s CBD can get an additional $2000, in recognition of reduced foot traffic due to office density limits.

Licensed venues, which have higher operating costs, will be eligible for larger grants of up to $20,000 under a $70 million boost to the state government’s Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021.

Prime Minister and Finance Minister face backlash over Covid-19 disaster payment

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Finance Minister Simon Birmingham are facing backlash after it was announced that Sydney residents in lockdown without work will receive a cash boost to their disaster payment.

In a statement after the announcement, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) said the Morrison Government had “finally relented to pressure”, criticising the late decision which came more than a month after Sydney first went into lockdown.

The Covid-19 Disaster Payment will be raised to $750 per week for those who typically work over 20 hours, and $450 for those who work under 20 hours, matching the levels of the initial JobKeeper scheme.

Victorians are the most prolific spenders: Report

Aussies spent a record $50 billion on online shopping last year, with Victorians taking out the title for the most prolific spenders as they endured months of lockdowns.

Last year, nine million Australian households shopped online – that’s 82 per cent of all households, a report from Australia Post revealed.

The Victorian suburbs of Point Cook, Cranbourne, Hoppers Crossing, Craigieburn and Doreen took out the first five spots in the top ten that shopped the most in Australia, based on purchase volume.

Google Cloud launches second Australian region

Google Cloud has launched its second Australian cloud infrastructure region in Melbourne to improve latency and availability for customers.

The Melbourne region joins the existing Australian region in Sydney, which the hyperscale public cloud provider launched in 2017. It brings the total number of Google Cloud regions to 27 worldwide, of which 11 are based in the Asia Pacific.

Fed says economic recovery on track despite COVID-19 surge

Despite an increase in coronavirus infections, the United States’ economic recovery is on pace, according to the Federal Reserve in a new policy statement that remained upbeat and highlighted ongoing discussions about the potential withdrawal of monetary policy support.

Boeing reports a profit for the first time since 2019

Boeing reported its first quarterly profit since 2019 and its revenue topped expectations as the giant aircraft maker tries to dig out from the most difficult stretch in its history.

Boeing earned $567 million in the second quarter, compared with a $2.4 billion loss a year ago.

Still, Boeing’s core commercial-planes business lost money. That was offset, however, by profits in its defence and space unit and its services division.

Still, Boeing’s core commercial-planes business lost money. That was offset, however, by profits in its defence and space unit and its services division.

American Express to resume India operations from August 7 

American Express is set to partially resume its business in India from August by acquiring merchants, even as it works to fix the issues of compliance related to data localisation of its card users that led to a regulatory ban on new card issuance, said three people familiar with the matter. 

The company has asked its partner banks and payment operators in India to recommence the onboarding of new merchants on its network from August 7. 

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