National accounts

Australia is in a low productivity, low growth rut, which is holding our economy back from delivering higher wages growth and improved living standards for all Australians, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said today.

“We need to build on the momentum of the personal income tax cuts, record infrastructure spending and the return of the budget to surplus to drive higher levels of business investment.

“Today’s growth numbers are a wake-up call – we need to pull out all stops to improve productivity, which is now lower today than it was a year ago.

“Our future depends on building a stronger, more resilient and competitive economy that encourages and rewards growth.

“Our yearly GDP growth has now been below 2 per cent for two quarters, something that has only happened five times previously in the past 40 years.

“Many of the global economic headwinds are outside our control and that’s why we need to double down on investment and driving productivity in Australia. This is how we get the economy to grow faster.

“Only by ensuring the economy is more competitive and productive, can we provide Australians with a buffer against an unpredictable global economy.

“We will continue to press the case for an investment allowance and advocate for the reduction of unnecessary red tape and regulation which strangles job creation and growth.

“The softness in household consumption is also why we backed all three stages of the government’s income tax cuts.

“Employers are ready and willing to work with the government on common-sense measures that will drive productivity, deliver the higher investment, skilled workforce and international trading opportunities Australians expect.

“We need COAG’s top priority to be reviving our productivity performance to encourage investment in this country.”