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Business news and updates: Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram back after outage

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 October 5:

Australia is moving towards a cashless society

According to Finder’s analysis of RBA figures, the number of ATM withdrawals has fallen by 66% since its peak in December 2008. “Finder anticipated a cashless society in Australia by 2036 a few years ago, and now even that timescale may be too far,” says Finder’s Graham Cooke. 

According to another study conducted by the card payment startup Square, one in every four Australian businesses is cashless. While cash transactions may be dropping, the value of notes in circulation has increased, primarily as a store of wealth.

Staff shortages will be the biggest challenge facing businesses: CBA

According to the Commonwealth Bank’s head of business banking, workforce shortages will be the most difficult hurdle for businesses when the economy recovers, with hotel operators particularly hard hit by border closures and people leaving the industry. 

Mike Vacy-Lyle, CBA’s group executive for business banking, was optimistic about the economic picture as NSW and Victoria prepare to reopen in the next weeks and months, predicting significant pent-up demand for hospitality and retail.

Farming opportunities are scarce as land prices continue to rise

Australia’s property price boom isn’t stopping at the city limits, with abundant crops and low loan rates driving up the price of farms. According to agri-focused lender Rabobank, agricultural land prices soared in 2020 and are expected to rise for at least the next five years, with a scarcity of available land on the market creating a bidding war for those who want a share. 

According to Rabobank’s newly issued Agricultural Land Price Outlook, all states, with the exception of New South Wales and South Australia, experienced a double-digit rise in median value per hectare as the nation’s agricultural economy enters an economic sweet spot.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) expects the value of farm production to reach $73 billion in 2021/22, an impressive 8 per cent above last year’s $68 billion records, and 17 per cent above the five-year average.

People from lower-income areas hit hardest economically by COVID-19

According to a new analysis by ACOSS and UNSW, the persons who are most economically impacted by COVID-19 are those who live in low-income areas. In September of this year, the number of people receiving income support payments was 27% greater than before the pandemic. 

Furthermore, lower-income communities have seen the biggest growth in reliance on income support payments. ACOSS advises the government not to proceed with its proposal to phase out COVID Disaster Payments if vaccination rates reach 80%.

The US says ‘will take all steps necessary’ to defend itself on China trade

The United States has announced a fresh approach to trade relations with China, pledging to take “all necessary steps” to safeguard US interests “to the hilt.” 

Trade Representative Katherine Tai said she will seek new negotiations with Beijing over the country’s inability to honour promises made in the first phase of a trade agreement reached with Donald Trump. She also did not rule out the possibility of imposing additional trade tariffs.

Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram back after outage

According to Facebook, social media platforms Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram are back up and running after a nearly six-hour outage. According to the company, the cause was a faulty configuration update. Facebook owns all three services, which could not be accessed via the web or smartphone apps. Downdetector, a company that monitors outages, said it was the greatest failure it has ever seen, with 10.6 million problem reports from around the world.

India’s largest insurer LIC prepares for an IPO

Life Insurance Corporation of India, the country’s largest insurer, is ready to go public in what is believed to be the largest initial public offering in the country’s history. 

According to the Press Trust of India, the state-owned insurer is expected to file preliminary papers with market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India by November. According to government authorities, the public offering will take place this fiscal year. With more than $500 billion in assets, the insurer controls almost 60% of the Indian life insurance market.

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