THE NEWS WRAP: Australian economy grew at a slower rate than expected in 2011

The Australian economy grew at a slower rate than expected last year, according to new figures, with Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan admitting structural change among businesses was causing “patchiness.”


Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that GDP rose 2.3% last year, slightly less than expected.


In response to the figures, Commsec chief economist Craig James said: “Normal economic growth is around 3.25 per cent, but we haven’t hit that level for almost four years.”



Female board directors on the rise


International Women’s Day has been marked by new figures that show women now make up 13.8% of directors on ASX 200 boards, up from 11.2% last year.


The Australian Institute of Company Directors said that the amount of female directors has grown steadily, with the figure standing at under 10% in 2010



CBA rapped by ASIC


Commonwealth Bank has been rapped by the corporate regulator for enticing its customers to raise their credit limits.


The Australian Securities & Investments Commission found that the bank had misled consumers with an online ad that suggested that they only had a short time in which to raise their credit limits.





The Dow Jones industrial average rose by 71.97 points, or 0.56%, to 12,831.12. The Australian dollar rose to 105.81 US cents.


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