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 2:
Australia’s economy grew by 0.7% in the June quarter, defying expectations, but economists warn that the recovery will be short-lived. The Australian Bureau of Statistics released data showing that an increase in government and household spending contributed to the slight increase in GDP.
Household consumption, which accounts for more than half of the Australian economy, increased by 1.1% in the June quarter but remained lower than its pre-pandemic peak.
Economists predicted that GDP would expand between 0.1% and 0.6% in the June quarter. GDP increased by 9.6 percent year on year, up from 1.1 percent in the previous quarter.
The CoreLogic Home Value Index of national home values increased by 1.5% in August to be 18.4% higher year on year — the fastest yearly growth rate in 32 years. In August, home prices in 69 of Australia’s 78 SA4 regions reached new highs.
A regional trade agreement involving Australia and China has taken another step forward with the approval of a bipartisan parliamentary committee.
The treaties committee submitted its report to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, recommending binding treaty action.
“The committee believes that, on balance, ratifying RCEP would be in Australia’s best interests,” the report stated. RCEP encompasses 2.2 billion people and 29% of global economic output.
It incorporates Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The OPEC oil producers’ cartel and allied non-member countries led by Russia agreed to gradually increase output as the world economy and fuel consumption recover from the worst of the coronavirus outbreak.
The organisation resisted pressure from the United States to move faster in restoring production cuts taken during the pandemic, potentially lowering gas prices for American drivers.
At an online conference, the group known as OPEC+ agreed to stick to earlier plans to add 400,000 barrels per day starting Oct. 1.
The cartel and its partners are cautiously reinstating deep cuts imposed last year when lockdowns and travel restrictions reduced demand for fuel and caused prices to rise.
Prices fell ahead of the meeting but trimmed losses afterward.
Oil was off 0.4% at $68.26 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude, an international benchmark, traded down 0.4% at $71.36 per barrel.
The United States Department of Transportation’s highway safety department is requesting detailed information on how Tesla’s Autopilot technology recognises and responds to emergency vehicles stopped on roadways.
The specific request was made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in an 11-page letter given to the electric car company.
The letter is part of a broad probe into how the company’s partially automated driving system behaves when first responder cars are parked while staff deal with accidents or other risks.
The agency wants to know how Tesla’s identifies a crash scene, which includes flashing lights, road flares, responder reflective vests, and vehicles parked on the road.
According to Vauxhall Motors, the global shortage of computer chips has had a significant impact on the automotive industry and is unlikely to ease before the end of the year. Paul Willcox, managing director of Vauxhall, told the BBC that the industry was facing a “crisis” for the next two or three months.
He stressed, though, that there was no need for a major overhaul of supply networks. For the past year, there has been a shortage of semiconductors in the United Kingdom.
Sri Lanka has declared an economic emergency following a sharp drop in the value of the South Asian country’s currency, which has resulted in a spike in food costs.
Authorities said they would take control of key food supplies, including rice and sugar, and set prices in an effort to curb the rising inflation. This year, the Sri Lankan rupee has plummeted by 7.5 percent against the US dollar.