Economy

Newman tipped to announce early Queensland election; Falling dollar leads to raised prices: Midday Roundup

Kirsten Robb /

Queenslanders are expected to head to the polls early, with Premier Campbell Newman telling voters he will call an early election later today.

Newman posted on his Facebook page this morning that he would head to Government House today to ask the acting governor to issue writs for a state election.

“Queensland’s economic recovery is too important to be jeopardised by ongoing election speculation,” said Newman in the post.

“There’s no time to waste securing Queensland’s economic future with our strong plan for job creation.”

Fairfax reports a government source has confirmed the election will be held at the end of the month, on January 31.

Falling dollar leads to raised prices

Just over 30% of Australian businesses intend to raise their prices in the first quarter of 2015, while just 4% will discount, according to the latest instalment of the Dun & Bradstreet’s Business Expectations Survey.

The figures continue a steady trend that commenced during the middle of last year, according to the research, which ties the movement to the level of the Australian dollar and suggests the weakening currency is leading to higher input costs for many local firms.

“While there has undoubtedly been a benefit for sections of the economy, such as manufacturers, the weaker dollar has introduced new cost pressures for businesses and industries that are reliant on imported goods,” said Gareth Jones, chief executive of Dun & Bradstreet in Australia and New Zealand.

“To cover these costs, many operations will be forced to lift their own prices, which will in turn flow through to other businesses and consumers alike,” Jones added.

Local shares nosedive

Aussie shares have taken a bad turn this morning, following a poor international overnight lead.

“A bloodbath in European shares, tumbling US markets and further routs in industrial commodities will put Australian investors under pressure at today’s market opening,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.

“Energy stocks are particularly vulnerable after leading yesterday’s market rise, given a 4% sell off in US oil and gas stocks overnight.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 88.3 points to 5362 points at 12:30PM AEST. On Monday, the Dow Jones closed down 1.86%, falling 331.34 points to 17,501.6 points.

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Kirsten Robb

Kirsten Robb is a former journalist at SmartCompany. Previously, she worked at News Corp as a property reporter for Leader Newspapers and the Herald Sun, and holds a Masters of Journalism at Melbourne University.

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