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Growth to continue: economist

AUSTRALIA is in the midst of an economic revolution characterised by nine years of sustained growth that is likely to continue for the next decade.

This is the view given by HSCB chief economist, John Edwards in his latest book, Australia’s Economic Revolution.

Mr Edwards writes: “Australia has entered a new phase of

prolonged growth, which is changing the way we think about the economy, employment and the role of government.

He says Australia’s extraordinary performance since 1991 is the result of four key trends – high productivity growth, low inflation, rapid changes in industry structure and globalisation of the economy.

Mr Edwards predicts these ingredients for growth are likely to continue well into the new decade.

However, he believes Australia’s continuing performance will depend on the education and training of its people rather than the wealth of its mines and farms.

Mr Edwards says the biggest productivity gains have come from the service industry, which has long been a hindrance to Austra-lia’s performance.

Mr Edwards believes the sector benefited most from enterprise bargaining and cheap technology.

He says Australians are better off today than they were a decade ago but inequalities of wealth and incomes are growing.

He said it was up to the government to address these inequalities.

“Another and more crucial issue is whether the Australian economy and the Reserve Bank can tolerate low unemployment.

“If the problem of the last two decades has been finding jobs for people, the problem of the next decade may be finding people for jobs,” he said.

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