THE NEWS WRAP: Wayne Swan hints the RBA board needs “new blood”

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has hinted that the Reserve Bank’s board needs “new blood”, potentially signalling the departure of Warwick McKibbin.

 

Professor McKibbin, whose term expires in July, has clashed with Swan over the flood levy. Swan said that there was a need for “new blood”, adding: “I think McKibbin has served two terms, that’s a pretty long stint on the Reserve Bank board.”

 

US consumer spending soars

 

Australian consumer spending over Christmas may have disappointed retail groups, but there is cause for optimism for their US counterparts.

 

Consumer spending grew at its fastest rate for three years in 2010, according to the US Commerce Department. Spending rose by 3.5% from 2009, close to pre-recession levels.

 

Android crowned top smartphone platform

 

Google’s Android mobile platform has overtaken Symbian to become the world’s top smartphone system, according to a new report.

 

The Canalys report reveals that Android sales hit 33.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to Symbian’s 31 million. Apple was third on 16.2 million. Overall, the smartphone market grew by 89% year on year to exceed over 100 million units.

 

Overnight

 

The US market overcame concerns about the mass protests in Egypt, with the Dow Jones industrial average up 50.86 points to 11,874.56. The Australian dollar rose slightly to 99.63 US cents.

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