Weekly Digest – 8 February 2023

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Australian trade minister to meet Chinese counterpart next week as relationship thaws

Australia and China’s top trade officials will meet to discuss their relationship. The meeting will take place online and will be the first between Australia’s trade minister and the Chinese counterpart in over three years. The hope is that China will drop bans on several Australian products, which has affected around $20 billion worth of trade.

Australia mining company sorry for losing radioactive device

The chief executive of Rio Tinto Iron Ore said the company is sorry for losing a highly radioactive capsule somewhere on a 1,400 km stretch of road in Western Australia. Emergency services were notified of the missing capsule, which may have become lodged on a car’s tires, on Jan 25.

Financial impact of skills shortage to increase this year: Robert Half

A report from Robert Half International Inc suggests 70% of employers expect to be impacted financially by a skills shortage. Meanwhile, 83% of respondents say there was more competition for qualified finance, business support, and technology talent in 2022 than in 2021.

Bonza’s first flight heralds a new era in an increasingly crowded airspace

Australia has a new budget airline, now that Bonza has taken its first commercial flight. The airline is focused on taking on routes currently not serviced by other airlines, with a plan of 27 routes to 17 destinations. Bonza is starting with three Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, with another eight on order.

More interest rates hikes in Australia are justifiable, says IMF

The International Monetary Fund says Australia will likely dodge a recession, but still has room to hike interest rates. The IMF anticipates Australia’s economy will grow around 1.6% in 2023, then recover to around 2.25% in the next few years.

New $5 banknote design

The Reserve Bank will update the $5 banknote to a design honouring the culture and history of the First Australians. The new design will replace the portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The other side will continue to feature the Australian Parliament.

Love is in the wallet: Australians to splurge $485m on Valentine’s Day

Australians are expected to spend around $485 million this Valentine’s Day, the first that will happen without Covid-19 restrictions. Among the top gift picks are flowers, chocolates, and food.

Is Australia headed for a recession in 2023? Probably not – but the impacts could be dire

Economists predict Australia could avoid a massive recession, forecasting instead a short dip into a small recession that will correct quickly. However, uncontrollable inflation and continued interest rate hikes could result in a recession in the long term, and could cause more people to default on their mortgages while increasing the cost of rent.

Record-breaking Australian Open a boon for Melburnian hospitality

Record-breaking crowds at the Australian Open added more than $400 into Melbourne’s economy, according to NAB. Around $300 million of that was spent at bars, restaurants and fast-food outlets during the Open.

Australian startup Recharge wins bid for collapsed UK battery company Britishvolt

Recharge, an Australian company, has won its bid to buy collapsed battery maker Britishvolt. The Australian company plans to build a factory in England to supply the UK with electric vehicles, free of Chinese components. Recharge is also building a battery facility in Australia.

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