Australia's productivity trends

[Page updated May 2019]

There have been four main periods in Australia's productivity performance
since the mid-1970s
: reasonable productivity growth in the 1970s and 1980s;
a productivity surge in the 1990s;
a productivity slump in the 2000s; and a
return to reasonable productivity growth in the 2010s.

Key points are made on this page. For further information and details, take the link at the bottom of the page.

The main productivity trends

Figure 1 shows a common measure of Australia's productivity since the mid-1970s. 


Index of multifactor productivity, 1973-74 to 2017-18, 2016-17=100
Source: ABS Cat. No. 5260.0.55.002                                                   

The main trends are:
  • a baseline period of steady growth up to 1993-94
  • a productivity growth surge over the next 10 years, when the rate of productivity growth tripled
  • a productivity slump from 2003-04 to 2011-12, in which there was no productivity growth
  • a return to steady growth since 2011-12, albeit with another pause over the two most recent years.
These different trends are discussed on separate pages. Take the links below or in the sidebar.

Forward page links

For further information and details of material presented on this page,
go to Australia's productivity trends: Details.

Three aspects of Australia's productivity trends are discussed on further pages: