25 Jun 2010

Australia outpaces our productivity

2:36 pm on 25 June 2010

A long-term productivity peformance study shows New Zealand is being increasingly outpaced by Australia.

The 30-year study also shows productivity in the non-export industries rising at a faster pace than the export sector.

Productivity measures how much is produced for a given level of inputs, and economists say it is a key to economic and wage growth.

The study by Statistics New Zealand, the first of its kind, shows productivity growth of 2.5% in New Zealand compared to 2.1% in Australia over a period of 22 years.

But from 1996 till 2008: Australia's productivity grew slightly faster, while its economy grew much faster, due mainly to higher workforce participation and investment.

The study also shows agriculture led New Zealand's productivity growth betwen 1982-97 before being overtaken by non-export industries, including retail, telecommunications and electricity and utilities.