AUSTRALIA 25 YEARS WITHOUT RECESSION

In the last quarter of 2016, Australia’s economy reached a 25-year streak without recession. The country has not had a recession since June 1991. This resource-ritch economy is now close to breaking the Netherland’s record of constant economic growth set between 1982 and 2008. In the third quarter Australia’s economy had contracted, but the unexpected 1.1% rise pulled the annual figure back to a growth rate of 2.4% which was assigned to strong exports and consumer spending. Relatively strong growth in mining and agriculture took place in three months to December, however, reduced demand from China in Australia’s biggest exports-iron ore and coal, has slowed down a mining boom and hurt Australian economy. A 2% rise in business investment in december was the first rise after a dozen quarters of decline. Treasurer Scott Morrison said: “Our growth continues to be above the OECD average and confirms the successful change that is taking place in our economy as we move from the largest resources investment boom in our history to broader-based growth.” Estimates by the country’s central bank point to economic growth rising to about 3% for 2017 thanks to recovering commodity prices.

YOUTUBE STRIKES WITH NEW TV SERVICE

YouTube has launched a new budget TV service for the US market and posed a real threat to traditional cable companies. This $35-a-month TV subscription service will carry more than 40 channels with some of the country’s biggest networks such as ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN. The service will also include a “cloud DVR” that will allow users record and store programming. The announcement was made at YouTube’s LA-based studio, where it gives free access to the network’s biggest stars to create original content. “YouTube is already an extremely well established video brand, and its apps are virtually everywhere,” said Paul Verna of eMarketer. The service will be launched this spring for smart TVs and mobile devices in its own standalone app. The downside, however, will be the absence of mjaor channels such as HBO, CNN and AMC. The service which will most likely make cable companies nervous is the inclusion of top channels showing live sport. “It’s live TV designed for the YouTube generation,” wrote Christian Oestlien, product management director for YouTube. “Those who want to watch what they want, when they want, how they want, without commitments.” For now, there were no plans for a similar service outside the US.

INDIA:TRADERS BAN COCA-COLA AND PEPSI

Traders in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu have banned the sale of Coca-Cola and Pepsi in favour of local products. Now activists in other parts of India have also been demanding a ban on Pepsi and Coca Cola. The ban came into effect on Wednesday, and was proposed by the state’s top two associations of traders. The associations say that soft drinks firms take too much water from rivers, leaving farmers struggling to irrigate their land at a time of severe drought. More than a million shopkeepers are expected to comply with the ban, and the associations have also urged supermarkets, restaurants and hotels to follow the ban and “help local businesses and farmers prosper”. While Pepsi and Coca-Cola have not commented on the ban, the Indian Beverage Association (IBA) said it was disappointed with the ban. The IBA, which represents most soft drinks manufacturers, said the ban “was against the proven fundamentals of robust economic growth”. “Coca-Cola and PepsiCo India together provide direct employment to 2,000 families in Tamil Nadu and more than 5,000 families indirectly… IBA hopes that good sense will prevail and that consumers will continue to have the right to exercise their choice in Tamil Nadu,” it said.

Tha Vellaiyan, president of FTNTA, said: “Drinks like Pepsi and Coca-Cola are not good for your health because of their high sugar and chemical content. We are promoting Indian soft drinks, and will encourage better sales of fruit juices.”

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