Retailers threaten to ship from New Zealand to avoid GST; Value of construction sector work on the rise: Midday Roundup

Retailers have threatened to send their goods from New Zealand to avoid a 10% GST slug on goods sold in Australia.

Local retailers have complained they’re suffering due to online retailers being exempt from GST when their goods cost less than $1000.

The move came prior to a meeting of state and federal treasurers this morning in Canberra where they were shown results of a report into the viability of charging GST on imported goods under $1000.

Bernie Brookes, chief executive of Myer, joined Harvey Norman chief executive Gerry Harvey to propose sending some goods from New Zealand to avoid making their customers pay GST, The Age reports.

Value of construction sector work on the rise

The value of construction work done in the September quarter has jumped 2.7%, rising higher than analysts’ expectations.

The non-residential sector benefited most, up 3.7%. Since this time last year the value of completed projects in the sector has increased by 7.3%.

The residential sector, in contrast, remained flat in the past quarter.

Engineering also performed well, with the value of finished jobs rising by 3.5% for the quarter.

Aussie dollar falls in early trade

The Australian dollar has fallen to its lowest level since September 4, slipping to US90.89 cents early this morning, down from 92.05 on Tuesday.

Westpac market strategist Imre Speizer said the currency was expected to trade in a range between 90.90 and 91.80 US cents today.

He said the currency was under “downward pressure” and that the market was “warming to the idea” that the Reserve Bank of Australia might cut interest rates in the first quarter of next year.

Shares steady on open

Aussie shares have opened steady, as last night Wall Street closed flat.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down one point to 5356 at 11:54 AEDT. Overnight the Dow Jones closed up 0.26 points at 16,072.80.


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