Australia’s largest department store chain has reported better than expected first quarter sales in a positive sign for the local retail environment.
The 0.8% sales growth might not be big, but it’s enough to suggest rate cuts and warmer weather are having an impact, according to the still cautious but upbeat Myer chief Bernie Brookes.
“While we welcomed the October interest rate cut, there are a myriad of factors currently in the mix and influencing discretionary spend, so we continue to be cautious about the trading environment.”Governments Ask For Google Data
Following the F.B.I. investigation that led to the resignation of the C.I.A. director, David Petraeus, it has been revealed that government requests for Google to hand over user data is on the rise.
In the first six months of this year governments around the world made 20,938 requests for information on 34,614 accounts, the company says. In the same period in 2011, governments made 15,744 requests on 25,342 accounts.
It’s more uncomfortable news for those concerned about online privacy and the interrogation of cloud data.Abbot Swings For Small Business Support
Tony Abbot has set about making support for small business a central election issue, with plans to double the existing rate of small business formation.
"I want to once again see small business providing more than half of the jobs in the private sector, since that is where people get a start in life, entrepreneurship is fostered, and innovation happens,"
However the government has attacked his plans to wind back small business tax breaks, claiming the Coalition will cut the recently introduced loss carry back initiative, which allows small businesses trading at a loss to claim back some tax paid on previous year's profits.As always, treat these spruiks with scepticism, but at least it might be a step in the right direction.