10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Ferrari’s chief designer, Flavio Monzoni, with the GTC4Lusso. Photo: Simon Thomsen

Good morning.

1. You kids and your screens. Here’s what one employer had to say about the larger than expected slowdown in US manufacturing reported overnight:

We have a serious productivity problem with office workers and estimated that less than 50 per cent of their time is spent on value-creating business activities. The younger workers are often off task, engaged on social media, on the internet, texting on phones and other unproductive activities.

It’s easy to write this off as a grumpy foreman failing to understand social media. But the five-year rolling average for productivity growth is at its lowest in 30 years, so it’s no wonder our anti-millenial manufacturer is furious. US President Obama recently passed a new Department of Labour rule that opens up overtime eligibility largely in favour of 25-34 year olds.

2. At the other end of the spectrum, here in Australia, our CFOs are saying they are struggling to keep up in a digital world.

3. It’s Australia’s GDP day, and everyone’s now expecting it to be a big one. Not as big as India’s frankly unbelievable 7.9% year-over-year print in the first quarter of 2016, but certainly well ahead of expectations for a contribution of 0.7 percentage points. All the action begins at 11.30am AEST, so here’s David Scutt’s primer to help you get ready.

4. Markets overnight were sluggish, with stocks in the US and Europe easing into month’s end. That, along with commodities and global bank weakness, should drag on the ASX today. The SPI 200 lost 24 points, 0.4%, overnight, but all eyes are on our GDP and Chinese PMI surveys later today. Anything could happen, including a little rocket under the Aussie dollar.

5. Watch The Rock perform the haka. Well, a bit of it:


Johnson has a major role in the upcoming animated Disney film “Moana”, set in the South Pacific, in which he plays demi-god Maui. He says he always does the haka last because it makes him “blow out my damn vocal chords”. “(It’s) highly intense and emotional and I always need a few minutes to calm down after I do it,” he says.

6. There’s a new lobby group in Sydney going in to bat for startups. It’s called TechSydney and it’s backed by some of the biggest names in Aussie tech, such as Atlassian and Canva, as it works to ensure Sydney becomes the global tech hub it should become. This week, it held a forum for 200 of those founders and investors, where CEO Dean McEvoy explained what it would be seeking from them – two million dollars. Here’s what it’s for.

7. Stop flogging your business on Facebook. It’s infuriating and makes your friendships look cheap. Instagram is better, because an estimated 50% of people on it are there to follow business. Instagram’s so OK with that, it’s just launched Instagram Business Tools, and Australians get first go of it along with NZ and the US. Here’s how it works.

Meanwhile, Minecraft has told advertisers building attractions inside the game to bugger off.

8. We forced Simon Thomsen to hang out a Justin Hemmes’ pad yesterday and listen to legendary Ferrari designer Flavio Manzoni bang on about the Prancing Horse. Manzoni is here for Vivid Sydney, but to kick things off, he made sure the world knows Ferrari will never, ever make an SUV, and it’s got a lot to do with the old Steinway he has in his home.

9. Wednesday learnings. Scientists found an easy way to eat less. A three-minute animation that will change your perception of time. And nine animated maps that will change the way you see the world.

10. It’s curtains for one of Australia’s greatest restaurants. Neil Perry’s three-hat Rockpool in Bridge Street, Sydney, will close down on July 30, less than 12 months after it was named Gourmet Traveller’s restaurant of the year. It’s been setting the standard since 1989 but the good news is it will reopen nine days later as Eleven Bridge, with the same team, but in a “more casual space”.

Have a great day.

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