Inflation target at 2% risks overheated economy, says BNZ

"We wonder if the target band should be lowered from its current one to three percent or, in the least, that its lower reaches be tolerated as the 'new normal' for the foreseeable future," writes senior economist Craig Ebert. The annual inflation rate has been below 2 percent since September 2011, and clocked in at 0.8 percent in calendar 2014. Although that partly reflected the unexp-ected plun…

  • Aust shares open higher AAP - 15 minutes ago
    Aust shares open higher

    The Australian share market has opened higher. At 1021 AEDT on Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 17.6 points, or 0.30 per cent, at 5,896.7, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 17.5 ...

  • NZ milk powder futures drop as Fonterra lifts GDT volumes, … BusinessDesk - 27 minutes ago

    New Zealand whole milk powder futures dropped after Fonterra Cooperative Group said it will increase the volume of product it puts up for sale on the GlobalDairyTrade platform, suggesting prices may extend their decline in next week's auction. Auckland-based Fonterra, the world's largest dairy exporter, has increased the amount of whole milk powder it will offer at the upcoming April 1 auction in Contract 2, which covers product with a June shipping date, by 14 percent to 4,965 metric tonnes. Whole milk powder futures for June delivery dropped US$230 a tonne to US$2,400 a tonne today. At last week's GDT auction, whole milk powder fell 9.6 percent to US$2,928 a tonne.

  • Hallenstein lifts profit 40% as it claws back market … BusinessDesk - 32 minutes ago

    Hallenstein Glasson, the fast-fashion clothing chain, lifted first-half profit 40 percent, beating its guidance, as it clawed back market share in a competitive retail environment. Hallenstein has been one of a number of retailers that struggled through 2014 in a tough trading environment as they faced intense competition from online rivals, thrifty Australian consumers and unfavourable weather conditions. "We are pleased with the progress we have made in regaining market share," said chief executive Graeme Popplewell. The summer boost to sales had flowed through to the first seven weeks of the new season, with sales up 14 percent on last year, Hallenstein said.

  • Metcash supermarkets CEO to leave AAP - 40 minutes ago

    Metcash's supermarkets division's chief executive Fergus Collins has stepped down after 13 years at the company. The move comes after the company delivered a profit warning in December, saying full year ...

  • Rinehart steps up campaign against costs AAP - 1 hour 13 minutes ago
    Rinehart steps up campaign against costs

    Mining billionaire Gina Rinehart has stepped up her criticism of governments for imposing too many costs on the mining sector amid a commodity price downturn. A protracted slump in iron ore prices has put many miners under financial pressure, and Ms Rinehart says government costs need to be reviewed to keep Australian miners competitive. "If Australia doesn't supply iron ore, there's other countries who will, so we need to do what we can to cut Australia's high costs, and the even higher Pilbara ones in particular," Ms Rinehart said as she accepted a lifetime achievement award at the Mines and Money conference in Hong Kong. "That's where Australian governments come in, or should come in.

  • Upbeat US data weigh on Aust bond market AAP - 1 hour 13 minutes ago

    A batch of better-than-expected economic data out of the US have weighed on Australian bond futures prices. Data overnight showed US weekly jobless claims fell to 282,000 in the week to March 21, from ...

  • Second CBA exec charged over 'bribery' AAP - 1 hour 19 minutes ago

    A second Commonwealth Bank IT executive has been charged over a kickback scheme that allegedly involved $1.9 million in corrupt payments. A tip-off led the Commonwealth Bank to look into the accounts of two IT executives last year. The IT executives, including 61-year-old Keith Robert Hunter, are accused of granting a US-based IT firm a lucrative contract with the bank without putting it to tender.

  • Women to make up 25 pct of UK boards AAP - 1 hour 40 minutes ago

    The percentage of women on the boards of Britain's top companies is on track to meet a target of 25 per cent by the end of 2015, a study tracking female achievement says. The report from the Cranfield International Centre for Women Leaders said that 23.5 per cent of boards of the companies listed on the UK's main stock index, the FTSE 100, are now comprised of women, up from 20.7 per cent last year. "This is a critical time for British businesses, not just to meet the 25 per cent target, but also to continue to diversify their boards and organisations beyond the 2015 target," said report co-author Ruth Sealy. The 25 per cent target is a voluntary goal set up by a British government steering group.

  • RESEND: NZX launches three new ETFs BusinessDesk - 1 hour 42 minutes ago

    NZX's Smartshares unit, which is being combined with new acquisition Superlife this year, is launching three more exchange traded funds, giving investors exposure to Australia's resource and financial sector and dividend-paying New Zealand stocks. The Wellington-based stock market operator has registered prospectuses for three funds - the Australia Resources Fund tracking the S&P/ASX 200 Resources Index, the Australian Financials Fund, which follows the S&P/ASX 200 Financials Ex-A-REIT Index, and the NZ Dividend Fund which tracks the S&P/NZX 50 High Dividend Index, it said in a statement. The stock market operator outsourced its indices to S&P Dow Jones Indices, the international market indices firm, to produce and commercialise new indices across equity markets and fixed income securities.

  • BUSINESS BREAKDOWN: Kiwi hurt by weakness in dairy … BusinessDesk - 2 hours 29 minutes ago

    The New Zealand dollar gave up its gains overnight after whole milk powder futures fell, raising concerns about the outlook for the country’s largest export.

  • $A weaker amid upbeat US data AAP - 2 hours 54 minutes ago

    A batch of upbeat US data has whacked the Australian dollar back down toward 78 US cents following a short-lived rally overnight. At 0700 AEDT on Friday, the local currency was trading at 78.20 US cents, ...

  • Commodities markets summary AAP - 2 hours 55 minutes ago

    A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas: ENERGY Oil prices have surged after Saudi Arabian jets struck rebel targets in Yemen, sparking fears that an escalating crisis in the country could ...

  • Stocks to watch on Friday AAP - 3 hours ago

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange on Friday, March 27: BBG - BILLABONG INTERNATIONAL - down 0.5 cents, or 0.8 per cent, at 60 cents Surfwear group Billabong International has vowed to fight ...

  • Finance News Update, what you need to know AAP - 3 hours ago
    Finance News Update, what you need to know

    WORLD FINANCE UPDATE: The Australian dollar has enjoyed a short-lived rally overnight, clawing its way toward 79 US cents before drifting lower. At 0630 AEDT on Friday, the local currency was trading at ...

  • International markets roundup AAP - 3 hours ago

    A roundup of trading on major world markets: NEW YORK - Wall Street stocks have ended lower in volatile trade spurred by the Yemen crisis. At the closing bell on Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ...

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Company Finances

  • Pickle butts and dog food: Chef Dan Barber shows off waste Associated Press - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 4:16 AM NZDT
    Pickle butts and dog food: Chef Dan Barber shows off waste

    What's for dinner? How about leftover cartilage of skate with herring-head tartar sauce, cured tuna blood line aioli or a meat loaf of offal and slightly past-its-prime cow usually reserved for dogs? Those ...

  • Google Granted Patent for Airbags That Deploy on the Outside of Self-Driving Cars Entrepreneur - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 3:57 AM NZDT
    Google Granted Patent for Airbags That Deploy on the Outside of Self-Driving Cars

    The bumper-like feature would ostensibly protect pedestrians in the event of an accident.

  • 6 Lessons Businesses Can Learn from a Michelin-Rated Restaurant Entrepreneur - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 3:45 AM NZDT
    6 Lessons Businesses Can Learn from a Michelin-Rated Restaurant

    After doing a behind-the-scenes tour of restaurant Joël Robuchon, I learned many insights and lessons that can be applied to entrepreneurs, regardless of the industry their in.

  • Buffett bonanza? Heinz and Kraft to merge CNBC - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 2:53 AM NZDT
    Buffett bonanza? Heinz and Kraft to merge

    Kraft Foods Group and H.J. Heinz announce that they will merge to create The Kraft Heinz Co.

  • We have about $9.5B in the new Kraft-Heinz: Buffett CNBC - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 2:44 AM NZDT
    We have about $9.5B in the new Kraft-Heinz: Buffett

    Warren Buffett says Berkshire Hathaway will have $9.5 billion worth of common stock in the newly merged H.J. Heinz-Kraft Foods company.

  • HJ Heinz buying Kraft and building a $28 billion food giant Associated Press - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 1:57 AM NZDT
    HJ Heinz buying Kraft and building a $28 billion food giant

    H.J. Heinz Co. is buying Kraft Foods, creating one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world with annual revenue of about $28 billion. The Kraft Heinz Co. will own Kraft, Heinz, Oscar Mayer, ...

  • Kraft and Heinz to Form North America's No. 3 Food Company Entrepreneur - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 1:40 AM NZDT
    Kraft and Heinz to Form North America's No. 3 Food Company

    The maker of Velveeta cheese will merge with ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co, owned by 3G Capital and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

  • Fonterra beefing up Australian business AAP - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 12:14 AM NZDT
    Fonterra beefing up Australian business

    New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra is renewing efforts to fix under-performing businesses in Australia. Chief executive Theo Spierings says despite market price volatility, the company remains committed to its strategy to grow its cash payout to shareholder farmers through converting more milk into higher-returning products by 2025. It's also likely to benefit from Australia's free trade agreement with China, which will phase out tariffs on Australian dairy products and the 15 per cent duty on infant formula. Fonterra operates 10 manufacturing sites across Australia, processing 1.7 billion litres of milk sourced locally each year.

  • Why This Career Firefighter Opened a Firehouse Subs Restaurant Entrepreneur - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 11:30 PM NZDT
    Why This Career Firefighter Opened a Firehouse Subs Restaurant

    Jeffrey Urbas is a firefighter through and through, working as a fire sergeant with the City of Detroit Fire Department while also running a Firehouse Subs.

  • These High-Tech High Heels Change Color With the Click of an App Entrepreneur - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 6:26 AM NZDT
    These High-Tech High Heels Change Color With the Click of an App

    If the shoe fits, work it. Heck yeah, chameleonic electronic 'ink' tricked out stilettos look as cool as they sound.