The bill for insurance losses from the Queensland floods could hit $1 billion, according to JPMorgan.
The company said that its “crude guestimate” of the impact on insurers will be led by home and contents claims, followed by property, business interruption and motor vehicle policies.
Small businesses in the flooded region, which covers an area equivalent to France and Germany combined, have been promised $25,000 in relief from the Federal Government.
Business bosses give 2011 predictions
Business leaders have predicted a bright year for the Australian economy, although concerns have been raised over the lack of skilled workers.
Katie Lahey, CEO of the Business Council of Australia, said she was “quietly confident about 2011”, although Qantas chairman Leigh Clifford raised concerns about the skills shortage, claiming that the resources sector was taking talented workers from the eastern seaboard.
Firefox overtakes Internet Explorer
The dominance enjoyed by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer could be set to end, after a research company confirmed that Mozilla Firefox has overtaken it for the first time in Europe.
Irish firm StatCounter said that Firefox had a 38.1% share in December, compared to Internet Explorer’s 37.5% share.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell by 12.07 points to 11,658.68 while the Australian dollar was down against the US dollar at 100.62 US cents.