THE NEWS WRAP: Retailers expect sluggish Christmas period

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan is set to unveil plans to create a so-called ‘fifth pillar’ in the banking industry to aid competition in the sector.

 

It’s expected that the government will offer assistance to credit unions and building societies to help them grow and challenge the dominance of the ‘big four’ banks.

 

Retailers set to be hit by Christmas caution

 

Retailers are expecting a sluggish Christmas period, although sales are anticipated to be stronger than last year. The Australian Retailers Association expects sales to top $39.9 billion from mid-November to Christmas Eve, up from $38.5 billion last year. The ARA said that consumers are still “very careful” with their purchases.

 

Facebook co-founder launches Jumo.com

 

Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook, has launched a new venture to promote charitable causes.

 

Hughes, who left Facebook to work on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential bid, has founded Jumo.com, which will allow people to link to charitable causes via Facebook.

 

Overnight

 

US stocks rallied following good economic news from Europe and China, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up by 254 points. The Australian dollar was also up, nearing 97 US cents

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