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The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left interest rates on hold at 3 percent as predicted.                                                 reserve_bank_400

A  survey by AAP had expected the RBA to leave the cash rate at the lowest since 1960.

Treasurer Wayne Swan said last weekend that it was obvious that rates will rise, while Minister for Financial Services, Chris Bowen, warned yesterday that rates can’t stay low forever.

Some economists believe the first rate rise could come this year, but the general view is that rates will remain on hold until the middle of next year.

In a statement released after the announcement, governor Glenn Stevens said the risk of “severe contraction” in the Australian economy had abated.

“Economic conditions in Australia have been stronger than expected a few months ago, with both consumer spending and exports notable for their resilience,” the statement says.

“Measures of confidence have recovered a good deal of ground.”

The statement adds: “The board’s judgment is that the present accommodative setting of monetary policy is appropriate given the economy’s circumstances.

“The board will continue to monitor how economic and financial conditions unfold and how they impinge on prospects for sustainable growth in economic activity and achieving the inflation target.”

 

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The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)  is due to announce its decision on interest rates at 2.30pm (AEST) on Tuesday.
The economists surveyed by AAP said the cash rate will remain at a 49 year low of three per cent after the central bank’s board meeting on August 4.

“The RBA appears to have no intention of reducing the cash rate any further,” said Matt Robinson, an economist with Moody’s Economy.com. reserve_bank_400

“I think a housing market bubble is starting to form, and given the sentiment that governor Stevens expressed in his speech to the Australian Business Economists, that is something that the RBA is watching and that would be a reason for them to maybe hike interest rates earlier.”

There were doubts about whether the RBA would be deterred from raising rates if unemployment continued to rise.

The RBA has kept the cash rate at 3 per cent for three consecutive months.

Michael Turner, an economist with financial markets research group 4Cast, said the prospect of rising unemployment would mean the cental bank could keep rates steady until well into 2010.

“We’re still of the opinion the worse is yet to come and things look better now than they did a couple of months ago, which is why we’re now calling it on hold (in August) rather than going lower,” he said.

“But we still think there’s enough of a story in the lack of utilisation in the economy at the moment that price pressure might be moderate enough at 3 per cent.

“We’re currently chewing on a rate rise in 2010 at the moment. It’s possible, but not until late 2010.”

If you look at the split in the market or the way the debate was being conducted it was very much the idea that the RBA isn’t going to hike because they never have while the jobless rate has been rising.

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PREMIER Colin Barnett may ask the Federal Government to relax foreign worker allowances to prevent labour shortages at major WA projects.

WA faces severe shortages of skilled workers in 2011, when there is expected to be peak activity in WA’s resources sector, Mr Barnett told a media conference in Perth yesterday.

The premier’s comments come as a large Chinese steel maker, Ansteel, contemplates the viability of developing WA’s first steel mill.

Other massive projects planned for the state include Woodside Petroleum Ltd’s Pluto Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project, Chevron’s Gorgon LNG project, a new deep water port at Oakajee and CITIC Pacific’s Sino Iron project.

“I expect we will face serious skills shortages if these projects go together at the same time,” Mr Barnett said.

“Hopefully,  we can build these projects with Australian labour but I expect there will be skill shortages, in particular trades areas.

“We need to be prepared to bring in some of their (Chinese) workers.”

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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pet airwaysPEOPLE love their pets, sometimes more than they love other people.

So it is not a surprise that a start-up company, Pet Airways, has had a massive response since offering to transport dogs and cats in a much more caring way.

Precious pets won’t be left to fend for themselves in cages in a freezing cargo hold – an experience that so scared a Jack Russell terrier owned by husband-and-wife team Alysa Binder and Dan Wiesel that they decided to launch Pet Airways.

All of the passengers using the new airline’s cargo plane get to travel in the front of the plane in special carriers installed instead of seats.

They are escorted to the plane by pet-loving attendants who check on their precious cargo every 15 minutes.

The pets are given pre-boarding walks and bathroom breaks and also have access to a “Pet Lounge” where future fliers can wait and sniff the furniture before flights.

The demand for the service has been staggering, with flights rapidly booked out for the first two months.

Operating between regional airports in New York, Washington, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles, Pet Airways charges about $315 per trip, which is comparable with charges on less pet-friendly airlines.

The company is already looking to add more flights and cities soon, and hopes to fly to 25 destinations within three years.

Betsy Saul, co-founder of Petfinder.com which ranks the pet-friendliness of various airlines, said she was excited about the expected impact Pet Airways would have on pet travel across major airlines.

”The entire industry will stretch because of Pet Airways,” Betsy told the Associated Press.

Source : www.news.com.au

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Two in three West Australian adults are expected to take part in a $20 million splurge on lottery tickets in the hope of scooping Australia’s record $90 million Lotto jackpot next week.
  
Lottery fever has gripped WA and it is estimated five times more tickets than usual will be bought in the State for Tuesday’s Oz Lotto draw.
  
The $90 million prize pool is unprecedented in Australian lottery history and is the culmination of nine weeks of rolled-over Oz Lotto prizes.
  
Lotterywest chief executive Jan Stewart said lottery ticket sales in WA were up 6 per cent on last year and were expected to jump even higher for Tuesday’s bumper draw.
  
“Our experience is that irrespective of the economic climate, people seem to continue to spend the few dollars each week they have been accustomed to spending on a Lotto or scratchie ticket and to find a little more when there is something special on like a big Oz Lotto or Powerball jackpot or a Saturday Lotto Superdraw,” Ms Stewart said. 
  
WA is a lottery-loving State, a fact which could be attributed to the ban on poker machines that has reduced gambling choices in the West.
  
Whether WA is luckier or just plays more, the State is full of Lotto winners. Over the past 12 months, seven of the 12 major (Division One) wins in the Oz Lotto game across Australia have gone to WA.
  
West Australian adults spend an average of $5.98 every week on the lottery and the clamour for tickets for Tuesday’s draw has shown they are spending more than ever.
  
Greg Mills, of Yokine Lottery Centre, said the number of people coming in to buy Lotto tickets had soared from an average of 250 a day to 350 in the run-up to Tuesday’s game.
  
“It’s pumping. People all want a share of this $90 million. It’s creating a lot of interest,” Mr Mills said.
  
Sadly, though, the chances of winning are slim — 45 million to one.
  
To improve your chances, it might be worth taking note of which numbers come up most often. The number 5 has been drawn 14 times over the past 50 Oz Lotto draws, while 45, 35 and 28 have come up 13 times each.
  
At the other end of the scale, the number 38 has emerged only three times in the past 50 draws. Numbers 6, 14, 36 and 39 were almost as unlucky, with four appearances each. 
  
You could also buy your ticket in one of WA’s lottery hotspots. Kalgoorlie has had the most Division One wins over the past five years, with $31.7 million won by eight players.
  
Perth CBD is also a lucky place, with more than $26.4 million shared between 11 Division One ticket holders over the same period.
  
Morley has had the highest number of Division One winners with 12 tickets sharing $9.8 million.
  
The biggest Division One win of all time was $58.7 million, which was won in Victoria in the Powerball game in June 2008.

Source  :   www.thewest.com.au

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The Government has released its scaled-down idea of what it wants the Perth waterfront to look like – but it’s after the same effect as at some of Australia’s best-known sites.

Premier Colin Barnett yesterday unveiled proposals radically different from those suggested by his Labor predecessor Alan Carpenter.

 The plans include a mix of civic, commercial, residential, retail, education and cultural areas.                  perth waterfront

Premier Colin Barnett yesterday unveiled proposals radically different from those suggested by his Labor predecessor Alan Carpenter.the foreshore, similar to those in Sydney’s Darling Harbour and Circular Quay and Melbourne’s Southbank,” Mr Barnett said.

Unlike Mr Carpenter, who committed the Government to fully-funding his vision, Mr Barnett wants a mixture of public and private capital.

Mr Barnett said the new plans aimed to feature world-class architecture “without being over the top”.

“Western Australians have been shown many plans for the foreshore over many years and nothing has actually happened,” he said.

“The Government does not want to impose yet another grand vision on the WA community. This is a more modest concept that shows a ground-scale depiction of what could be developed.”

Mr Barnett said his plans provided for greater public access, while the previous government wanted to develop “monuments” that blocked off the river from the public.

“It would have been an enclave for the wealthy and businesses.”

Work on the project was expected to start within 18 months.

Source  :  www.watoday.com.au

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EXCLUSIVE: SUPER 7s Oz Lotto has jackpotted to a staggering $90 million next week.

The new, all-time record lottery draw will take place next Tuesday after there were no first division winners in last night’s $50 million draw.

A rush for tickets for last night’s game saw the division one prize pool boosted to a massive $59 million.

Tattersall’s Lotteries PR manager Karen Anning said next week’s Super 7s Oz Lotto
draw will shatter all existing records for lotto games in Australia.

“We were expecting the game to jackpot to $60 million next week if there were no first division winners but, due to the unprecedented level of interest in last nights draw, the decision has been made to offer a minimum guaranteed jackpot level of $90 million, Ms Anning said.

“The lotto frenzy we have already experienced over the past week is expected reach epic proportions in the lead up to next Tuesday nights draw.”

source  :  www.news.com.au

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