Australia’s current productivity performance is average among OECD countries. In the last four decades, Australia’s productivity growth has been lower than in many other OECD countries. After accelerating in the 1990s, Australian productivity growth has since slowed.
The United States is still considered to be world’s productivity leader in a ‘technological sense’. In the last five decades, there has been a persistent gap in aggregate productivity between the US and Australia. Some Australian industry sectors (such as mining, construction and transport) have performed at or close to the productivity frontier or even exceeded their US counterparts. However, sizeable gaps remain in other areas such as manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, utilities, communications and finance.