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Weaker growth in June quarter rounds off a middling economic year

The economy slowed back to 2013 growth levels in the June quarter, today’s national accounts show, but labour productivity continues to perform strongly.

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The statistical struggle to get productivity right

The ABS is moving to revise how we understand productivity in one crucial industry, illustrating how complex this important debate really is, Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane write.

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Strong GDP result delivers golden business conditions

The March quarter GDP result has delivered some of the best business conditions for years, and shows the extent to which Joe Hockey deliberately underplayed growth ins his economic forecasts, Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer write.

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Why is Australia so expensive — and who’s responsible?

If business wants to complain about the high cost of operating in Australia, it should demonstrate some courage and call out the culprits — other businesses and the politicians that pander to them, Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer write.

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Is the Coalition up for the challenge of our future workforce needs?

A key long-term economic challenge is not merely identifying whether the workers of tomorrow will come from, but what skills they will need, and how to measure them, Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer write.

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Relax, public servants, CoA cuts not as bad as you think

The Commission of Audit has suggested slashing 15,000 jobs from the public service and making mandarins more efficient. But the recommendations are reasonable, and not as dramatic as they seem, writes governance expert Stephen Bartos.

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Beyond bakeries, Productivity Commission shows who’s dragging the chain

The Productivity Commission shows that fixing our multi-factor productivity performance will take a lot of work.

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Cheer up, Joe: why the economy is doing better than Hockey says

The recent series of economic data illustrate the flaws in the government’s economic narrative, write Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane.

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Mortgages dragging Australian economy into a productivity bog

Ross Gittins has stood atop his Fairfax soapbox to decry the “nation of rent-seekers”. But Gittins might be the biggest rent-seeker of all. His model is responsible for killing productivity.

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Not transitioning, drowning

Crikey readers talk wages growth, Fairfax deadlines and the coal companies getting government money.

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That’s not deregulation … now THIS is deregulation

If the government is serious about deregulation — which it isn’t — it would pursue these totemic reforms. Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer run through the options.

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Flat growth continues as productivity increases

Today’s national accounts data show an economy in low gear, but with growing productivity and broader-based sources of growth than we’re used to, say Crikey writers Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane.

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The Business Council’s giant passive-aggressive fridge note

The Business Council’s call for economic reform betrays a business mindset that it should be the passive recipient of government help. Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer interpret the document.

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Rudd’s day of national reconciliation masks a real productivity challenge

While Kevin Rudd strives for a Hawke-like political effect with a call for consensus, the productivity challenge he identified is real.

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‘Minerals Week’ in a realm of industry rentseeking

The rentseekers and whingers of the mining industry gather in Canberra this week. But you can be sure that there are a few topics that won’t be mentioned, write Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane.

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When ‘social cost’ gets slippery: how lobby groups spin their case

Good causes have a tougher time convincing policymakers of the merits of addressing social issues. So they rely on “social cost” to get into the policy space.

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Productivity Commission releases its annual report card

The Productivity Commission last week issued the first of what will be an annual examination of our productivity performance, and despite scattered reports about how it has worsened and likely to continue to worsen, the real story from the Commission’s report is that we don’t yet have the real story on this issue.

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Decades behind? Mining chief might be right on productivity

Is the Australian mining sector really decades behind on productivity improvement? There’s something to incoming Anglo American chief Mark Cutifani’s alarming comments.

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Quiggin: OECD right on education to productivity

The OECD wants Australia to improve productivity — but sees the solution as education, not a return to WorkChoices. Economist John Quiggan on the regulation, tax and industrial relations hints.

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Here’s one we prepared earlier: Labor goes back to Asia

Labor’s new Asian vision is a lot like its Keating-era big picture, only with more spin. Labor looks like the party with some vision of where it wants to go, even if that vision is mainly rear-vision.

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This week’s phoney reasons to attack Labor’s economic management

Desperate to find problems with Labor’s economic management, the government’s critics find themselves in some strange places.

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The weird, weird world of the Economist Intelligence Unit

A new report is touted as showing Australia lagging on productivity. But it’s unclear what this weird collection of data shows.

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Non-debate over productivity turns to attacking Treasury

The “productivity debate” in Australia is nothing but the same tired cant from business figures and the media — even when the facts change on them. Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane report.

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Whatever happened to the productivity crisis?

Yesterday’s national accounts significantly change our perspective on the “productivity crisis”.

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Shared understanding is what’s missing in productivity debate

Productivity” is starting to sound a little “gourmet” — a word that means very different things to different people, writes Jo-anne Schofield, executive director of policy network Catalyst Australia.

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