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Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

Stoking the engine room of the Australian economy

The nation’s fleet of small to medium-sized businesses boosting economic growth has been one constant amid the technological and demographic transformation of the Australian economy. Enabling them to be more successful is the focus of ANZ’s new Group Executive, Australia Commercial Clare Morgan.

What the fall in the Australian dollar tells us about the future of interest rate rises

The Australian dollar fell sharply this week to 65.2 US cents due to the US Treasury’s plans to sell $US103 billion of long-term debt next week and a decline in market interest rates which reflect expectations that the Reserve Bank is likely at the end of its tightening cycle, creating uncertainty among local and international currency investors.

‘Retail recession’: Small businesses respond to “super cautious” shoppers as turnover dips

Australian shoppers are now “super cautious” about their spending habits, one small business operator says, as the effects of long-running inflation and interest rate concerns lead some economists to declare a “retail recession”. Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Thursday confirmed retail turnover dropped -0.5% in the June quarter, marking the third consecutive quarterly decline.

Treasury opens consultation on managed investment schemes

Following its initial announcement in the October 2022‑23 Budget, the Government is now seeking feedback on the appropriateness of the existing regulatory settings for managed investment schemes (MIS).

Suncorp responds to ACCC’s rejection of bank sale to ANZ

Suncorp Group (Suncorp), the owner of one of Australia’s biggest insurance firms, has responded to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) decision to deny the sale of Suncorp Bank to Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ).

Price of coal has ‘collapsed’ over last 12 months

WaveStone Capital Principal Catherine Allfrey says the price of coal has “collapsed” in the last 12 months.

Cybersecurity tips for SMEs

Earlier this year, Australia has seen a series of high-profile cyber attacks that shook the business world, resulting in multimillion-dollar financial losses for numerous organisations. As Australian businesses increasingly rely on digital infrastructure, the need for robust cybersecurity practices has never been more critical. Here are three critical cybersecurity challenges that every business leader should be aware of, as well as some practical measures that they can adopt to detect and address risks proactively.

Fast-tracking sovereign manufacturing capability

Worldwide shutdowns and key transport hub bottlenecks during the pandemic made it clear that Australia needed to place increased emphasis on local rather than global supply chains to reinforce its sovereign manufacturing capabilities, Balluff Australia & New Zealand sales director Jim Wallace explains.

Franchising means big business for more than 94K small businesses in Australia

Franchising is the key support mechanism which has allowed more than 94K franchise outlets across Australia employing almost 600,000 Australians to survive the multiple challenges of recent times, according to the 2023 State of Franchise Report.

Call for Aussies to use superannuation to fund aged care

An issues paper by industry peak body Aged and Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA) suggests a range of potential solutions to solve the aged care funding problem including a suggestion that Aussies dip into their super savings to pay for their aged care.

Retail e-commerce: protecting your online store from threats

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, cybersecurity in retail e-commerce has become a critical concern. As online shopping continues to surge, so does the risk of cyber threats. Retailers are now more than ever, required to prioritise the security of their online platforms to protect not only their business but also their customers.

A consulting giant accused of ripping off federal government over Defence contracts

Consulting giant KPMG has been accused by two whistleblowers ,one from KPMG, the other from Defence, of repeatedly ripping off taxpayers while contracted by the Department of Defence — submitting inflated invoices and billing the federal government for hours never worked.

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