Posts Tagged australian dollar
Australian unemployment rises to 5.2%
(AFP)–2 days ago
SYDNEY — Australian unemployment rose to a seasonally adjusted 5.2 percent in February, with the slowing economy shedding 15,400 jobs as commodity prices cooled, figures showed Thursday.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics said a drop in part-time work was to blame for the increase from a seasonally adjusted 5.1 percent in January.
Analysts had expected the jobless rate to rise to 5.2 percent but the economy had been tipped to create 5,000 extra jobs.
The Australian dollar plunged to US$1.0540 from $1.0582 on the news, which was seen as increasing the case for an interest rate cut.
The figures follow weaker-than-expected growth of 0.4 percent for the final three months of 2011 due to falling commodity prices and soft investment amid turmoil in Europe and the slowing Chinese economy.
The Reserve Bank of Australia kept official interest rates steady at 4.25 percent this week, saying global conditions had eased and the local economy appeared to be growing close to trend, with unemployment “steady”.
But analysts said the soft growth and jobs numbers showed that the rise in the Australian dollar was hurting the non-mining economy, with sectors such as manufacturing, tourism and education under strain.
“We’ve got some parts of the economy slowing down, other parts speeding up and the net result is that the slow lane is more than offsetting the fast lane,” said HSBC economist Paul Bloxham.
Employment Minister bill Shorten said there had been a “definite slowing in the economy” but the unemployment rate had held relatively steady since August and was very low by global standards.
“Despite the global financial crisis and the aftermath, despite the problems in Europe which are underway at the moment, despite the impact of the local dollar we’re seeing that unemployment… hasn’t increased as greatly as I think people first feared,” Shorten told reporters.
However, he did warn of “further softness in the unemployment numbers in coming months”, with a number of large firms including Qantas Airways, ANZ and Westpac banks and carmakers Toyota and Holden recently announcing job cuts.
Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved.More »
San Francisco, Calif. (PRWEB) December 20, 2011
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Related Island Press Releases
SYDNEY: Australia’s trade surplus unexpectedly narrowed in November as exports of resources slowed while aircraft imports increased.
Exports exceeded imports by A$1.38bil (US$1.43bil), from a revised A$1.42bil surplus in October, the Bureau of Statistics said in a report yesterday.
Exports were little changed at A$27.2bil in November from the prior month, it added. – Bloomberg
The report showed stable demand for Australian exports that were outpaced by an increase in goods and services coming into the country. the Reserve Bank of Australia last month made its first back-to-back interest-rate cuts since 2009 as weaker commodity prices ease inflation pressure.
“A surplus at all in the current environment is a nice thing to have,” said Ben Jarman, a Sydney-based economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co., before the report. “to have that revenue stream holding pretty steady despite slower global growth is a welcome outcome.”
The Australian dollar maintained earlier declines. the currency fetched $1.0337 at 11:32 a.m. in Sydney from $1.0340 before the report and $1.0369 yesterday in new York.
Exports were little changed at A$27.2 billion in November from the prior month, today’s report showed, while imports were also little changed, at A$25.9 billion.
Exports of metal ores and minerals dropped by A$349 million, or 4 percent, from the previous month, the report showed. A category of imports that includes civil aircraft rose A$576 million, it showed.
RBA Governor Glenn Stevens lowered the overnight cash rate target to 4.25 percent from 4.5 percent on Dec. 6, citing “considerable turbulence” in financial markets and an increased chance of a “further material slowing in global growth.”
An RBA commodity price index released two days ago showed the measure fell to 104.5 in December, the fourth straight monthly drop, to the lowest level since March. the nation’s currency weakened 2.4 percent in November and 0.7 percent last month against its U.S. counterpart.
Traders are betting on a 78 percent chance that Stevens will lower borrowing costs again at the central bank’s next meeting in February, Bloomberg calculations based on cash-rate futures showed before today’s report. over 12 months, the benchmark will fall 97 basis points, a Credit Suisse AG index based on swaps showed.
The central bank’s next meeting to determine rates is scheduled for Feb. 7.
–With assistance from Daniel Petrie and Candice Zachariahs n Sydney. Editors: Brendan Murray, Victoria Batchelor
To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah McDonald in Sydney at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at email@example.com 01-04-12 1946EST
The grounding of the Qantas fleet by CEO Alan Joyce stands out as the biggest news story in travel for 2011. Photo: Reuters
A soaring dollar and domestic turmoil left airlines and tourism operators counting the cost this year, writes Craig Platt.
Australian airlines and tourism operators may look back at 2011 as their ‘annus horribilis’.
Airlines faced groundings due to industrial disputes, safety concerns and ash clouds, while tourism operators suffered as the high Australian dollar deterred international visitors and encouraged Australian holidaymakers to head overseas.
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Wings of desire … the Dreamliner launch was one bright spot in a dismal year for airlines. Photo: Reuters
More than any other event this year, the grounding of the Qantas fleet by its chief executive, Alan Joyce, has been the biggest event affecting Australian travellers. Following a long-running industrial dispute with airline unions, Joyce grounded the fleet without warning on October 29, throwing the travel plans of almost 70,000 passengers into chaos.
The story continued to run in the weeks after the grounding, as the airline attempted to make amends with passengers by offering free flights to those affected and increasing frequent-flyer rewards for a limited time.
However, Qantas is not the only airline in crisis this year. in July, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority grounded Tiger Airways after two safety incidents involving the landing of aircraft. It took six weeks before the airline was cleared to fly again.
Air safety was also paramount in June when ash from an erupting volcano in Chile made its way halfway around the globe to ground flights here. The cloud from the Puyehue volcano led to hundreds of flights being cancelled.
But it wasn’t all bad news in the air. after a delay of more than three years, Boeing’s long-awaited 787 Dreamliner jet entered service with its launch customer, all Nippon Airways, on October 26. The plane is the first to have a fuselage made of carbon fibre and it promises a more pleasant passenger experience: larger windows, a wider cabin and improved air quality.
Australian tourism operators will likely be glad to see the back of 2011. The strong Australian dollar and increased competition on international air routes resulted in Australians abandoning domestic holiday destinations in record numbers.
The most recent figures show more than 600,000 Australians headed overseas in September, with 5 million departures for the year so far.
However some of Australia’s favourite destinations were also hit with significant downturns. our No.1 international destination, New Zealand, suffered in the wake of two devastating earthquakes centred around Christchurch, while Thailand is still feeling the effects of the floods that hit last month.
Japan, hit by a tsunami in March that caused fears of a meltdown at Fukishima’s damaged nuclear plant, experienced a huge drop in tourist numbers – down almost 50 per cent in the months immediately following the disaster.
Other popular destinations have fared better, however. Vietnam continues to grow as an alternative destination to its overcrowded neighbours, with Australian visitor numbers up an astonishing 130 per cent, while the soaring dollar meant Los Angeles became the go-to destination for shopping trips and catapulted Australia into the No.1 position for overseas visitors to that city.
The year in travel – most read stories
A passenger on a Delta Air Ways flight from Nice to New York was charged with assault after an altercation with cabin crew, who confronted him on suspicions he had been smoking on board. His response? “I’m French, f— you!”
Meanwhile, readers were taken with a story on Sandy Cay – a private island off Honduras that was available for rent from just $100 a night.
The always-controversial Ryanair made headlines after kicking 100 passengers off a flight in the Canary Islands after a scuffle broke out over an excess baggage charge.
Later in the month, crowds gathered on the banks of Sydney Harbour for the arrival of cruise royalty as giant ships the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 visited Australia.
Readers showed their hunger for new destinations, making our story on “10 top Australian destinations you’ve never heard of” the most read of the month.
Meanwhile, a leaked email from a Jetstar pilot telling his colleagues to “toughen up princesses” caused controversy, after some Jetstar pilots had complained of fatigue due to flying rosters.
More bad behaviour on planes as a drunk Melbourne University graduate had to be handcuffed and bound to his seat after “behaving like a terrorist” on a Malaysian Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne. Khairulddin Mohammad Yahya repeatedly entered the business class cabin to sit with his mother, though he was travelling economy class, after being asked to leave by crew.
On April 5, a United Airlines flight made an emergency landing in New Orleans with no electrical power. The plane overshot the runway, but injuries to passengers were minor.
The world’s biggest travel website, TripAdvisor, named the world’s best destinations, with Sydney coming in second behind Cape Town in South Africa.
Plane enthusiasts were excited by news that Alice Springs would become the site for the world’s first aircraft “boneyard” outside the US for storing decommissioned planes.
Airbus revealed its vision of air travel in the year 2050, including a futuristic fuselage that would be transparent, offering passengers panoramic views.
Back in the present day, passengers were stuck on the ground as ash from the Puyehue volcano in Chile made its way over Australia and grounded flights.
A rare spectacle occurred in New York City, where a spectacular sunset created a “Manhattanhenge” from the city’s skyscrapers.
July was another month of air travel chaos as the Civil Aviation Safety Authority grounded Tiger Airways after a second breach involving a plane flying too low while approaching an airport.
Cathay Pacific went into damage control after photos of a pilot and flight attendant having a sexual encounter in the cockpit of a plane were leaked on to the internet. The pair were identified and sacked.
The Air Transport Rating Agency released its first list of the world’s safest airlines.
Readers showed plenty of interest in our close neighbour East Timor, which is positioning itself as a quieter alternative to Bali for tropical escapes.
Another big month for air travel dramas, including lesbian actress Leisha Hailey, star of The L-Word, getting kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight for kissing her girlfriend. The airline claimed several passengers had complained about Hailey’s “excessive” behaviour.
In a more serious incident, a New Zealand man choked on his in-flight meal during a Jetstar flight and died on board.
Carolyn Webb’s blunt assessment of Bali (“Bali: why bother?”) caused plenty of controversy and a record number of comments.
The biggest travel story of the year hit at the end of the month, as Alan Joyce grounded the entire Qantas fleet without warning – throwing the travel plans of almost 70,000 passengers into chaos.
Qantas news also dominated in November, with the airline announcing its “thank you” to frequent flyers in the wake of the disruption. The airline’s “Qantas luxury” competition on Twitter backfired – instead of using Twitter to enter the competition, users took the opportunity to attack the airline.
As our oldest airline struggled, a new kid on the block emerged – Strategic Airlines rebranded itself as Air Australia and relaunched as a budget airline flying to Bali, Phuket and Hawaii.
The month is less than halfway through, but it’s highly unlikely there will be a more read story than that of the couple on board a Jetstar flight who were caught allegedly trying to join the “mile-high club”. An ensuing altercation with the crew resulted in the male member of the couple being arrested.
And speaking of guilty pleasures, Lonely Planet’s list of the best places in the world to indulge in your vices also proved hugely popular.
It’s cheaper to pay parking fines … in Sydney. Picture: Adam Ward Source: The Daily Telegraph
- It costs $89 to park for more than three hours
- City parking only a luxury tourists can afford
- Sydney one of the world’s worst parking cities
PARKING in Sydney is so expensive that it is cheaper to cop an $86 fine than cough up for a few hours in a carpark.
It now costs up to $89 to park for more than three hours.
A NSW Government parking tax is being blamed for making city parking a luxury that even cashed-up tourists can’t afford. there are now no free carparks in the CBD, with global parking surveys naming Sydney as the fourth most expensive place to park in the world, costing up to $35 an hour or $142 a day.
What would you do to solve parking problems in Australia? Tell us below in comments
Parking bosses are calling for an overhaul of the tax that forces hotels, councils and commercial carparks to pay up to $2040 a space every year.
The tax was imposed in a bid to clear congestion in Sydney CBD streets but city workers say that it is cheaper to park on the street and risk a fine.
Hotels want carparks to be made exempt from the levy – arguing that the policy keeps away tourists who drive their own cars.
"This tax is yet another cost of doing business for hotels. with the recent GFC and now the high Australian dollar, we’ve been working hard to stimulate the domestic, self-drive tourist market," Australian Hotels Association NSW CEO Sally Fielke said.
The tax was supposed to discourage daily commuter traffic congestion in the Sydney CBD, the AHA submission said.
"those who park in hotel spaces are either domestic guests who have driven from intra or interstate, or they are international guests who have hired a car," it said. "In these cases, public transport is not a viable option."
Parking bosses claim the tax makes the traffic worse.
"it has been imposed only on off-street parking, not on kerbside parking. This encourages drivers to cruise around the streets looking for a bay, thus adding to congestion," Parking Association president Larry Schneider said.
The levy was doubled in 2009 under Labor and will make $105 million this year.
The government is considering industry submissions but carpark owners fear the tax will rise again.
Mr Schneider said the tax was intended to be used to improve public transport but the funds went into consolidated revenue.
<a href="http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/parking-fines-cheaper-than-parking-fees-in-sydney/story-e6frf7l6-1226060987331tag:news.google.com,2005:cluster=http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/parking-fines-cheaper-than-parking-fees-in-sydney/story-e6frf7l6-1226060987331Mon, 23 May 2011 01:18:48 GMT 00:00″>Parking fines cheaper than parking fees in Sydney