Right, it’s February already, far out brussel sprout. So, with 2023 well underway, lets take a brief look at what’s happening in the Australian business landscape.

AI gains stronger foothold

We’ve been hearing about artificial intelligence for a long time. Usually, we’re served news about what’s coming in terms of new tools and software programs, but now AI is really heating up.

Promising to churn out high quality copy including blogs and website content, ChatGPT burst onto the scene this year. With over 100 million users already, ChatGPT is now the fastest growing app in history. Businesses with few resources may be able to take advantage of this tool to automate a myriad of communications tasks—but be sure to proofread any output carefully before you publish, as no robot knows the nuances of your small business like you.

And a host of more fascinating AI tools are set to hit the commercial market soon too. From marketing and sales tools to a variety of live chatbot, data analysis, integration, automation and content creation technologies, keep your eyes peeled for some seriously useful and insightful business automation ideas soon to hit the market.

More rate rises on the horizon

On 7 February 2023, the Reserve Bank of Australia brought up the cash rate from 3.1 per cent to 3.35 per cent, with many small business owners expecting another rise…

The increase will of course add pressure on borrowers and likely reduce their disposable cash—possibly impacting their spend on businesses. However, from pricing tweaks to internal refinements, there are ways businesses can mitigate the effects of inflation.

It’s not all bad news though with RBA head of economic analysis department Marion Kohler commenting,

“We think the peak in inflation was at the end of 2022 – at around 8 per cent – and that inflation will begin to ease over the course of this year.”

We’ll likely avoid a recession

With wage growth stalled, prices for goods heading northward, and interest rates going up to curb inflation, many are fearing a possible recession in Australia.

Although a recession is unlikely to happen in Australia, it still a possibility according to a panel of 29 economists gathered by The Conversation.

“The panel assigns a 26% probability to a recession in the next two years, an increase on the 20% it assigned in mid-2022.”

However, global predictions are not so rosy.

“The panel assigns a 42% probability to a recession in the United States within the next two years, a 57% probability to a recession in the European Union, and a 73% probability to a recession in the United Kingdom”

The eventuation of global recession, however, does raise the spectre of local recession.

The former Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade chief economist Jenny Gordon said early this year,

“If Europe goes into a recession in its 2023-24 winter and China’s recovery is slow, a recession in Australia will become more likely.”

Consumers pipped to spend $485 million this Valentine’s Day

In some good news for those businesses and retailers that can capture the Valentine’s Day market, new research from the Australian Retailers Association and Roy Morgan, show that consumers in Australia will spend $485 million on 14 Feb.

This statistic suggests an increase of 16.9 per cent year-on-year with people set to spend an average of $118 on gifts for their partners.

So, if you can capture the hearts in your target market with well-aimed products and services, backed up by a sharp marketing blast, it could be worth your while.