Read More But Virus-free Queensland And Western Australia Have Said They May Not Stick To Those Plans As The Agreement Was Finalised When Cases In New South Wales Were Much Lower.

How China's Ant Group built a $17 trillion payments machine Tensions between China and Australia have taken a $4 billion toll on the important trading partnership, but Canberra says its economy has proven "remarkably resilient" as other countries moved to fill in the gaps. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Monday claimed the Chinese government has failed to seriously impact the country's economy through a series of punitive measures on exports. The trade dispute has escalated since April 2020, when Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an international inquiry into the origins of Covid-19 . "I am not downplaying the impact of China's actions. They have hurt specific industries and regions, significantly in some cases. Nevertheless, the overall impact on our economy has, to date, been relatively modest," Frydenberg said at the Australian National University. "This is perhaps surprising to many." While trade between China and Australia fell by about 5.4 billion Australian dollars ($4 billion) in the first half of 2021, compared to the previous year, Frydenberg said that loss had been mostly made up by a 4.4 billion Australian dollar ($3.27 billion) increase with the rest of the world. Frydenberg also accused Beijing of trying to exert "political pressure" through its actions — some of Canberra's strongest comments yet on the year-long dispute. He said Australia was "on the front line" of a new era of strategic on the main page competition between the United States and China, adding it was "no secret" that Beijing had tried to damage Australia's economy over political grievances. Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg speaks during the release of the 2021 Intergenerational Report in Melbourne on June 28. In the wake of Morrison's comments on Covid-19 — a politically sensitive subject for Beijing — a wide range of Australia exports to China including barley, beef and coal began to encounter obstacles. Some items were subject to anti-subsidy investigations and lengthy customs delays. In March, the Chinese government announced tariffs of up to 218% on Australian wine, intensifying a dispute over the industry. CNN Business has reached out to the Chinese government for a response to Frydenberg's speech. In November 2020, the Chinese Foreign Ministry accused Australia of making "a series of wrong moves" in its relationship with China, delivering a list of 14 grievances to the Australian media which included "incessant wanton interference" in China's approach to Hong Kong and Taiwan. China is Australia's largest trading partner by far in terms of exports and total value of trade. The trade between the two countries was valued at more than 250 billion Australian dollars ($185 billion) in the 2019/20 financial year , more than three times as much as the second largest trading partner, Japan. [Finance] [Finance]

Enjoy more audio and podcasts on iOS or Android . Many regulators were sounding the alarm about elevated company debt even before the covid-19 pandemic. Since then, the hit to firms’ incomes has led to a wave of rating downgrades: between March 2020 and March 2021, Fitch, a ratings agency, downgraded 460 firms, or almost 20% of its corporate portfolio. While defaults have eased this year as economies have recovered, many firms will be burdened by higher levels of debt for years to come. Even if interest rates remain low, this “debt overhang” could affect their willingness to invest or to hire new staff. Intriguingly, however, hangovers from corporate-debt booms rarely cause significant economic damage, even if creditors themselves suffer when firms default. A recent paper by Moritz Schularick, of the University of Bonn, and several coauthors, examines data on business cycles for 17 advanced countries over more than a century, and compares corporate-debt busts with those associated with household borrowing (like the 2008-09 financial crisis). The authors argue that lenders often have an incentive to restructure old corporate loans, reducing the risk of “zombie” companies persisting, and freeing up finance to support the next recovery. For household debt, however, restructuring thousands of individual loans is often impossible, and lenders may be more inclined to keep the loans on their books in the hope that house prices eventually recover. The risks to the economy are higher after commercial-property busts than for corporate debt where lenders mainly have their eyes on firms’ cashflows. This is one reason why the property-related debt woes in China are potentially disturbing. In much of the rich world, there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic. The largest lenders are in much better health than in 2008. All of the major regulatory authorities carried out stress tests during 2020, using macroeconomic scenarios much more severe than have actually transpired, but their banking systems were able to absorb large corporate losses and carry on lending. And the parts of the economy that have had the toughest time during the pandemic only account for a relatively small share of corporate debt. For example, modelling by Benoît Mojon, Daniel Rees and Christian Schmieder of the projects that defaults will increase in the hospitality industry over the coming years, but they note that the sector only accounts for between 1.5% and 8% of corporate credit in the nine major economies they model. There will be a mountain of corporate debt in many countries for some time.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) said the health system was in danger of being more.. locked into a "permanent cycle of crisis" and has called for new modelling to check if staffing levels in hospitals can withstand an expected surge in cases when lockdown rules ease. "If you have opened up and you haven't looked at the safety nets or the life rafts that we've got, we might end up actually trying to push more people on the life rafts and capsizing them," AMA Vice President Chris Moy told broadcaster ABC. Australia in July unveiled a four-stage plan back to greater freedoms when the country reaches 70%-80% vaccination. read more But virus-free Queensland and Western Australia have said they may not stick to those plans as the agreement was finalised when cases in New South Wales were much lower. New South Wales on Thursday reported 1,288 new locally acquired cases, just below its pandemic high of 1,290 hit on Monday. Seven new deaths were recorded. A total of 957 people are in hospitals, up from 698 a week ago, while cases in intensive care units (ICU) jumped nearly 40% to 160, 64 of whom require ventilation. Authorities quadrupled the number of the state's intensive care ventilators to 2,000 early last year, but the medical association's Moy said governments need to focus on hospital staffing before relaxing lockdown rules. "It's not just the number of ventilators, it's not the number of IC units, it's the number of staff and people that are going to have to man this when we open up," he said. Soaring cases forced Victoria on Wednesday to join New South Wales in abandoning a COVID-zero target , with both states now targetting rapid vaccinations as a pathway to freedom after failing to quell an outbreak of the Delta variant, even after a weeks-long lockdown.