2017 OECD Economic Surveys: Australia 2017

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Australia’s economy has enjoyed considerable success in recent decades, reflecting strong macroeconomic policy, structural reform and the long commodity boom. Living standards and well-being are generally high, though challenges remain in gender gaps and in GHG emissions. The economy is now rebalancing following the end of the commodity boom, supported by an accommodative macroeconomic stance and currency depreciation. The strengthening non-mining sector is projected to support output growth and spur further reductions in unemployment. Low interest rates have supported aggregate demand but are ramping up investor risk taking and putting pressure on the housing market.

Improving competition and other framework conditions that influence the absorption and development of innovation are key for restoring productivity growth. Innovation requires labour and capital markets that facilitate new business models. Productivity growth could be boosted through stronger collaboration between business and research sectors in R&D activity.   

Australia’s adjustment to the end of the commodity boom has not been painless. Unemployment has risen, and inequality is rising. In addition, large socioeconomic gaps between Australia's indigenous community and the rest of the population remain. Developing innovation-related skills will be important for the underprivileged and those displaced by economic restructuring and can help reduce gender wage gaps.




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Basic statistics of Australia

This Survey is published on the responsibility of the Economic and Development Review Committee (EDRC) of the OECD, which is charged with the examination of the economic situation of member countries. The economic situation and policies of Australia were reviewed by the Committee on the 12th of December, 2016. The draft report was then revised in the light of the discussions and given final approval as the agreed report of the whole Committee on the 3rd of January, 2017.The Secretariat’s draft report was prepared for the Committee by Philip Hemmings and Vassiliki Koutsogeorgopoulou under the supervision of Piritta Sorsa. Statistical research analysis was provided by Taejin Park. Administrative assistance was provided by Anthony Bolton and Brigitte Beyeler.The previous Survey of Australia was issued in December 2014.


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