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Leaders of the G20 countries meeting at their Summit in Brisbane, Australia, have called on the OECD and IMF to monitor their commitment to boost economic growth and create jobs.
We must be careful to ensure that G20 growth strategies not only boost growth and jobs, but also address inequalities. This requires win-win policies that combine strong economic growth with improvements in all those aspects of life that matter for people’s wellbeing – good health, jobs and skills, and a clean environment, security, civic engagement, work-life balance, etc...
The G20 needs to go structural, social, and green! With fiscal and monetary policy room nearly exhausted, structural reforms are the best choices, sometimes the only choice. The OECD battle cry in this regard has been unchanged since 2008: “go structural!”.
Australia has weathered the global economic crisis relatively well and enjoyed robust growth in per capita income, fostered by favourable terms of trade and high employment rates. However, productivity gains have slowed in recent years and the level remains below that of leading OECD countries.
Australia’s productivity growth has decelerated markedly around the turn of the century. Part of the decline is probably temporary, but raising multifactor productivity is key to ensure that living standards continue to grow strongly, especially if the currently strong terms of trade weaken over time.
The priority for Australia is to adapt to fast-developing Asia which opens vast new opportunities but also imposes strains. This adjustment will require flexible labour and product markets and lifting productivity growth.
The Australian economy is robust and faces a solid short-term outlook, but it must continue adapting to ensure that its privileged place in the Asia-Pacific region contributes to long-term sustainable growth, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Survey of Australia.
Country Notes from OECD Economic Policy Reforms: Going for growth 2011 presenting OECD recommendations for structural reform priorities for individual countries.
Australia faces the mutually reinforced challenges of boosting labour supply and promoting social inclusion. Labour underutilisation is especially prevalent among groups such as lone parents, people with disability, and Indigenous Australians.
- Economic Survey of Australia 2010
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This note is taken from Chapter 3 of Economic Policy Reforms: Going for Growth 2010.