10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Welcome to our new overlord… Photo: Getty Images.

Good Morning. It’s Day One.

1. G’dAmazon. The Bezos juggernaut finally, officially arrived as Amazon Australia today. Is this armageddon for local retailers in an already stagnant trading period, or simply a long overdue global day of reckoning for the sector? Now we watch The Ashes of retailing unfold.

2. Amafacts. The online retailer sells literally millions of items. We tried to find out just how many products, but they wouldn’t say. Here’s a more modest list of things Amazon we’ve covered so far.

  • Here are Amazon Australia’s delivery rates
  • Here’s how local retailers can survive
  • Everything you need to know about Amazon Australia
  • An Australian business already selling on Amazon reveals its secrets to success
  • Here’s what Amazon’s arrival could mean for the Australian economy
  • 5 ways small Australian retailers can grow in an Amazon era
  • 3. Retail sales data out today will give some indication of how merry Christmas will be for everyone, but it’s not looking good. The Australian Industry Group’s latest PSI dropped this morning and the retail trade sub-sector’s index was at 46.3 points in November, indicating a further deterioration in conditions, albeit at a slower pace. Meanwhile, after a less-than-stellar run since July, economists expect October’s ABS sales data to increase by 0.3%, an improvement on a flat September. The forecasts range from an increase of anywhere between 0.1% to 0.6%. We’ll know more at 11.30am.

    3. To markets and it’s a big day of data ahead, with the RBA’s interest rate announcement coming after retail sales. The US dollar had a strong session to start the week, getting a boost from the tax-cut legislation which passed through the US Senate on Friday night. But US stocks were more volatile, as the Dow hit a new high while tech stocks took a beating. Bitcoin was less volatile — at least by its standards. Meanwhile, IOTA coin is up more than 50% and added $3 billion in value overnight. And In commodities, iron ore is back in a bull market as prices posted their eighth gain in nine sessions.

    4. Brexin. Pantheon Macroeconomics chief economist Samuel Tombs, one of the few to correctly call the UK election, thinks Britain won’t actually end up leaving the EU, arguing that instead it will implement a transition deal, but at the end of that period, will stay in the bloc because politicians will see it as a career-ending move.

    5. There’s a danger to passing legislation at 2am on a Saturday. Turns out US Senate Republicans made a last-minute change to its company tax cut bill and kept the alternative minimum tax for corporations. The AMT is designed to stop businesses using credits and deductions to pay no tax and is set at 20%, the same level as the new corporate rate. The US Chamber of Commerce is furious and it looks like there’s a lot of work ahead to fix the problem.

    6. Think you deserve a pay rise? Local economist Callam Pickering ran his eye over the quarterly business data released from the ABS, which shows gross company profits have risen by 20% in seasonally adjusted terms, while net earnings growth in that time has been a steady 6.5%. Pickering reckons it’s time they shared the love, so read this before you head into the boss to explain why you’re worth more.

    10. There’s now a faster way to go offroad in Westfield carparks. Italian sportcar maker Lamborghini revealed its new Urus SUV, with a 650 horsepower, 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged, V8 engine that pushed the car above 300kmh. It’s expected to double the company’s annual sales total to around 7,000 cars globally.

    The Urus – perfect for parking on the grass at the SCG.

    8. ‘House of Cards’ will return. Netflix says season 6 will happen, but without Kevin Spacey, who was fired following sexual harassment allegations. So it looks like Claire will finally run the country in eight episodes to conclude the series.

    9. What was Steve Smith thinking? His allergy to enforcing the follow-on left Australia’s top order exposed in Adelaide’s night air to be 4-53 and leave the home side 268 runs ahead after bowling out the tourists for 227. Nathan Lyon’s brilliance included this caught and bowled.

    “Garry” is now the world’s equal leading test wicket taker in 2017 with 54 scalps. And today he’s working on improving his batting average.

    10. We ate Donald Trump’s 2,430-calorie McDonald’s order. So you don’t have to.

    See you tomorrow for Day One again.

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