(Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

The question for the Australian economy is no longer whether we're mired in stagnation -- we have been for several years -- but whether that's likely to change in the future.

Surely the stagnation will end, and growth return, at some point? Ask the Japanese. They're still waiting after more than two decades. For Australia, there's no reason to think the stagnation that has beset our growth, our wages or our productivity is going to end any time soon.

In a speech last night, Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe warned that "it is likely though that we will require an extended period of low interest rates to reach full employment and for inflation to be consistent with the target".