Nov 2, 2017

Ten years on from the sharemarket peak, Australian business has little to complain about

Ten years on from the pre-GFC sharemarket peak, the Australian economy is very different but has prospered thanks to smart choices by policymakers.

Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane

Crikey business and media commentator / Politics editor

Ten years ago yesterday, the Australian sharemarket hit an all time peak: the ASX 200 reached 6851 points. At the time, the financial story was the collapse of the country’s second biggest shopping centre company, Centro. Many of us, of course, were preoccupied with the looming wipeout of the Howard government, and John Howard himself.

It was a different economy back then, and not just because the mining boom was filling Peter Costello's coffers with revenue. Manufacturing still employed a million people; retail was the biggest employer, not health and social care. Productivity growth, strangled by John Howard's Workchoices, was nearly non-existent. Wages grew around 4% a year; inflation had briefly dipped to 2% but it was bouncing between 4% levels that prompted the Reserve Bank to raise interest rates -- most famously during the 2007 election campaign. It was a high-growth economy in which Australians chose to spend their perceived wealth -- often from reducing their savings -- on goods; the "experience economy" that is now hurting retail across the world and even in countries like India was still in the future.

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5 thoughts on “Ten years on from the sharemarket peak, Australian business has little to complain about

  1. Bert Morris

    Thank you for singing my song so beautifully. I only wish I had your voice. Unfortunate that so many commentators are tone deaf.

    1. nathan rogers

      In a small forest in CrikeyShire a beautiful bird can tweet their song to the fortunate number who can navigate their way past the Newscorp swamp, the Fairfax pine plantation and not get drawn into the free ABC neo-progressive music festival.

  2. klewso

    “…. Australian business has little to complain about”? I like that, very droll.

    1. klewso

      ….. For a start, they still have to pay their serfs.

  3. bushby jane

    Hockey would just love your version of his good decision was, that is running big deficits. Never worked out what caused them though, as he seemed to cut everything at the time.

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