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Talking Business News: The GDP is growing, but to what effect?


Talking Business is a podcast review of the Australian economy, presented by seasoned business journalists Leon Gettler and Garry Barker, produced in association with the RMIT College of Business. It features interviews with prominent business leaders and expert analysis from RMIT academics.

The GDP is growing, but to what effect?

In this podcast, Garry and Leon talk about the surprising growth in Australian GDP and soaring gross operating profits. Confidence among Australian farmers has reached a two and a half year high with rising commodity prices and winter rains. But unemployment is rising and companies are paying out less with dividends.

  • The number of new homes sold has fallen 7% and business owners say sales are stagnating or falling. Exports have fallen 4% in July. House prices remain sluggish.
  • The David Jones sexual harassment case could be expanded to cover 16 women and there are proposals for tougher enforcement of sexual harassment laws.
  • Mining giant Rio Tinto will spend $1 billion on iron ore exploration in a joint venture with Gina Reinhart. Centro Group is back in the black but is still struggling under its debt load. Nufarm is also struggling with debt and has reported another profit downgrade.
  • James Hardie could be forced to pay $380 million in back taxes after losing a dispute with the tax office, putting the future of its asbestos fund in doubt.
  • Qantas has added more than 800,000 Jetstar seats in its battle with Virgin Blue.
  • A report shows that women are paid even less than men than they were 30 years ago.
  • Telstra chief executive David Thodey has said he was not worried who won the election.
  • Holden’s latest car runs on ethanol.
  • A record surge in mining has wiped out Australia’s current account deficit.
  • Building approvals have shown signs of a turnaround and cafes and restaurants have boosted retail sales.
  • Australian manufacturing growth is slowing down and senior Reserve Bank official Guy Debelle warns of a double dip recession.
  • Paul Hogan has vowed to continue his fight with the tax office to the bitter end, claiming he does not have enough to pay the ATO.
  • Commonwealth Bank is putting in technology to make it one of the world’s most efficient banks.
  • French beverages group Pernod Ricard, owner of Orlando wines, has reported a 5% drop in sales.

Press play to listen.


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Garry Barker and Leon Gettler both have established careers with ‘The Age’ newspaper, where Garry Barker is its Technology Editor, and Leon Gettler is a Senior Business Journalist. Gettler also works freelance on a number of other publications.