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 September 29:
Australian consumer in hibernation, ABS data shows
The latest statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that Australians tightened their belts in August, with retail turnover falling. In August, seasonally adjusted turnover was down 1.7 percent from the previous month and 0.7 percent lower than the same period the previous year.
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) saw the biggest drop, with retail turnover falling by about a fifth. Western Australia, on the other hand, had a gain in sales, while South Australia saw a return following a month of declines.
Mastercard launches global BNPL products
In a hint that the installment payments pioneered by Afterpay have well and truly joined the financial mainstream, payments giant Mastercard will debut new technology that will allow banks throughout the world to provide buy now, pay later (BNPL) products.
Strong demand for BNPL services prompted the global card company to build infrastructure that will allow banks, fintechs, and other lenders to deploy installment loans across its vast network.
Morrison brushes off commitment to phase out fossil fuels
As a major climate conference approaches, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has refused to promise to phase out the use of fossil fuels. Prior to the COP26 United Nations climate meeting in Scotland in November, Australia has been pressed to set emissions reduction targets.
After winning the 2013 election, Mr Morrison was part of a government that scrapped a carbon pricing plan.
However, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg cautioned that if the country fails to commit to a net-zero aim by 2050, borrowing prices will skyrocket. His words came as the International Monetary Fund urged Australia to declare a “time-bound” goal for achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Google dominance in Australian online advertising harming businesses and consumers
The ACCC wants Google to make it clear to customers how it uses its personal data to sell ads. The amount of personal data Google collects from its customers gives it a “data advantage” over its competitors.
The ACCC says competition in Australia’s online advertising market is suffering. It also found Google has used its position to preference its own services and shield them from the competition.
U.S. consumer confidence hits seven-month low
U.S. consumer confidence fell to a seven-month low in September as a relentless rise in COVID-19 cases deepened concerns about the economy’s near-term prospects, fitting in with expectations for a slowdown in growth in the third quarter.
Ford announces US$11.4 billion investment in electric vehicle plants
Ford has announced a huge investment in electric vehicle (EV) production in the US, promising to build its largest-ever factory in Tennessee, and two battery parks in Kentucky.
The company claimed it will develop zero-emission vehicles and pickups “at scale” for American consumers under the US$11.4 billion plan. It will also result in the creation of 11,000 jobs.
Ford, like rivals GM and Stellantis, anticipates that by 2030, half of the cars it sells will be zero-emission vehicles. However, the additional government expenditure needed to make it happen is still up for debate.
Keep up to date with our stories on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.