10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

It’s Thursday. You can do it.

1. Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi – steady on. Australia’s economy, now closing in on 25 years without a recession, is undeniably remarkable. The 3% rate of GDP growth in the 12 months to September surprised everyone. But Deutsche Bank’s Adam Boyton points out that “there is a ‘problem’ with this economy – namely the weak productivity (GDP per hour worked fell 0.3% over the year) and wages growth that are required to reconcile employment and GDP growth”. Basically, this means living standards are going backwards. And while it’s not a crisis, economic reform driven by politicians is required to address it. Forgive us if we’re not holding our breath. More here.

2. Iron ore is going berserk, and is back at a new high of $US52.50 for the year. The chart is wild:

Many expect it to fall back again, but what if it stays there? There might be a mini-windfall for Treasury in the wings.

3. And the dollar’s on a tear, too. It’s nudging 73c, with the rally starting after yesterday’s big GDP print and the buying continuing through the European and US sessions.

4. The ASX was on a ball-tearing rally yesterday, led by the banks, which were running hot anyway when the GDP data came out and added some fuel. The local index is back above 5000 and futures are pointing to another positive open. Greg McKenna has more in his morning note.

5. In-your-face payment technology, literally. Google is rolling out a trial at restaurants in California that will let you pay by simply saying: “I’ll pay with Google”, and then the cashier looks at an app, checks your face matches the database, and, one cha-ching! later, off you go. With your money face.

6. Speaking of automation, we’ve all heard it’s likely to destroy some jobs. Employment search provider Adzuna estimates robots will replace one in six Australian jobs are at risk, mainly those that “involve routine tasks (butchers, bank tellers, plant operators, admin workers etc) and little creative thinking or emotional intelligence”. Details here.

7. The contest for the Republican presidential nomination could now turn into a street-fight, with the GOP looking at all sorts of options to try and stop the Drumpf – sorry, Trump – steamroller. The Don picked up seven of the 11 nominating states in the Super Tuesday round of primaries and is starting to look somewhat unstoppable. What is now being floated is a contested convention, in which candidates vy to round up votes from the floor to stop Trump securing the 1,237 delegates required to secure nomination. He is still some way off, with only 335 delegates secured, and Marco Rubio is promising to campaign in all 50 states to try and peel away delegates where he can. So it’s far from over but the Republican establishment is now in panic mode.

8. We’ve got more from the mysterious Magic Leap, the secretive VR company many believe is working on something revolutionary in computing. Turns out the video of a whale in a gymnasium full of kids was from them. And there’s more in this clip:


9. Spreets was an iconic Australian startup, one of the early “overnight successes” which sold to Yahoo for $40 million. BI’s Harry Tucker reports on some of the background today, with founder Dean McEvoy explaining how he had to move back in with his parents at 32 before making the Spreets magic happen. He also talks about his pitch meetings and doing his best to not come across as completely desperate to investors. Good read.

10. Facebook just passed 3 million advertisers. Next, it’s looking to collar the small business market.

BONUS ITEM: All the things rich people worry about, in one chart:

Have a great day. I’m on Twitter.

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