THE NEWS WRAP: Slowdown in business confidence growth during November

There has been a slight tempering in business confidence following a post-election surge, according to the latest NAB survey.

 

The index fell to five points in November, after hitting six points in October.

 

A score above zero suggests confidence is improving, with higher readings suggesting a faster rate of improvement.

 

“People are starting to see that changing the government doesn’t change the economic activity levels. The other thing that also doesn’t help is that our employment confidence was quite weak. And so that was offsetting some of the better trading conditions we were seeing,” NAB chief economist Alan Oster says.

 

General Motors names its first female CEO

 

General Motors is set to become the first US automaker to be run by a woman, after naming its global product development chief, Mary Barra, as its new chief executive.

 

Barra will be the company’s fifth chief executive since US President Barack Obama forced out Rick Wagoner in 2009, and replaces Dan Akerson, who is standing aside after learning his wife had an advanced stage of cancer.

 

“This is an executive who has a vision of where she wants to take the organisation. [Barra] is an adaptive personality and one who reacts to change well,” Akerson says.

 

Qantas shares nose-dive to a record low as Abbott rejects bailout

 

Qantas shares hit a new record low of just 96.5 cents, after the airline’s announcement it is expecting a first-half loss of $300 million, prompting ratings agencies to downgrade its debt to junk bond status.

 

The airline has since announced plans to slash 1000 jobs over the next 12 months.

 

However, despite calls from Qantas executives, Labor and trade unions to provide the struggling carrier with subsidies, saying that a bailout would risk creating a “bottomless pit” for taxpayers.

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down to 5146.2. The Aussie dollar is up to US91.61 cents.

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