THE NEWS WRAP: Retail spending stutters with a dip in July

Retail spending is on the slide again following two months of recovery, with a 5.4% dip in takings during July, according to new figures.


The Commonwealth Bank business sales indicator, which tracks credit and debit card transactions through the bank’s payment facilities, showed a reverse in spending compared with the 3.1% and 1.7% increases in June and May, respectively.


Question mark over ATO audits


Australia’s inspector-general of taxation has questioned the way that some businesses are picked out for tax auditing.


Ali Noroozi told the ABC that he was to review the “risk engines” used by the Australian Taxation Office amid concerns that the taxman isn’t targeting the right taxpayers for further scrutiny.


Tablets driving online sales: Report


Tablets, rather than the ubiquitous smartphones, are doing most to push consumers into online transactions, new research has found.


The global InMobi report, which includes polling of 630 Australians, found that tablet users are less likely to visit bricks and mortar stores or read print products such as books and newspapers.


According to the research, smartphone penetration will hit 64% in Australia this year, while 39% of households will have at least one tablet.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 25.09 points, or 0.2%, to 13,275.20 on Friday. The Australian dollar was down to US104.34 cents.


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