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Traffic congestion in the major cities is expected to cost Australians A$20.4 billion a year by 2020. Image sourced from

The tenuous link between population and prosperity

Linking population growth with productivity and labour participation is problematic, just one of many questionable assumptions made in the Intergenerational Report.
Partied too hard? Julian Smith/AAP

Australia must prepare for the mother of all hangovers

You know Australia’s in trouble when the Reserve Bank cuts interest rates. Last week, the central bank did precisely that, in belated recognition of the income recession that has struck. Gross domestic…
The policies Australia needs are being blocked in the Senate. Lukas Coch/AAP

Senate stalemate must end so we can face economic headwinds

Much of the current political turmoil in Australia can be traced to Bill Clinton’s famous aphorism: “it’s the economy stupid” – in particular, the plunge in world commodity prices over the past few years…
More racket in your pay packet. John Garghan

The simple win-win case for higher wages in Britain

Two things stand out about the economic recovery in Britain. One is the sluggish growth in real wages. The other is the sluggish growth in productivity. That the two phenomena have coincided is no accident…
China needs to adopt a productivity reform agenda to avoid falling living standards. AAP

Look to China’s productivity gains, not headline growth figures

China’s economy grew by 7.3% during the third quarter of 2014, meeting market expectations. Polling by Reuters and the Wall Street Journal put the consensus forecast at 7.2-7.3%, the slowest pace in more…
A set of simple management practices can help manufacturing companies outperform. WorldSkills/Flickr

The secret to unlocking productivity in manufacturing

With major employers heading offshore and employment numbers decimated, what will emerge from the ashes of Australia’s manufacturing industry? And what role should manufacturing play in the federal government’s…
RBA Governor Glenn Stevens has cited an increase in labour productivity - but all isn’t as it appears. AAP/Dan Peled

Labour productivity has risen – but it’s not exactly a good news story

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens has ticked off on a major item on the “to do” list for Australian policy-makers: raise the rate of growth in labour productivity. In his keynote speech…
Australians should step away from a “story-telling approach” when it comes the economy. AAP/Garry Schafer

Look at the data to understand the risks for the Australian economy

What are the risks in the economic outlook for Australia? Typically, prognosticators take a scenario-based (aka “story-telling”) approach to answering this sort of question. And usually these scenarios…
The combination of social, mobile, cloud and data analytics is offering small firms new potential. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr

Small business is missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution

Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers…
The new Royal Adelaide Hospital, due for completion in 2016, is being built using BIM. RoboSparrow/Flickr

Explainer: what is BIM and is it the future of construction?

It is often argued that Australia’s construction sector productivity is lower than most other developed countries, such as the US. While there are many factors involved, Australia’s overall productivity…
It’s time we put the ‘p’ back into productivity. Vincent Talleu/AAP

In the Airbnb world we need a new productivity measure

The latest report on Australia’s productivity performance wasn’t good news. The annual update by the Productivity Commission confirmed Australia continues to lag most other developed economies, and has…

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