Why our standard of living will be rising more slowly

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The likelihood is the economy will be growing more slowly from now on.

Australia News, Australia Headlines

You could call it gloom, or call it realism, but the likelihood is the economy will be growing more slowly from now on.

The report’s “aim is to avoid the risks projected … through ongoing improvement and reform of policy settings”. I think we’re justified in concluding that the slower growth the report projects is more likely to eventuate than either unchanged or faster growth. The Treasury projects a further slow decline in our “fertility rate” – the number of births per woman – which has long been well below the 2.1 children “replacement rate” needed to hold the population steady over the years.

This expected slowdown in immigration means the overall size of the economy wouldn’t be growing as fast as it has been, but that doesn’t necessarily mean those of us who are already here will be worse off. That depends less on the economy’s overall growth and more in what’s happening to growth in GDPThe report projects that, whereas real GDP per person grew by 1.8 per cent per year on average over the past 40 years, it will slow to 1.1 per cent a year over the coming 40.

But this will be countered to an unknown extent by more women of working age taking paid employment, and a healthier post-65 population choosing to keep working, even if only a few days a week.

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