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Australia has joined the 'go slow' club, and that's OK

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08.05.2019

Do we need perpetual economic growth? It’s a question frequently asked by environmentalists. And it’s one the Australian economy seems to be answering with a resounding "no".

Or, at least, not the sort of rapid economic growth we’ve been used to in the past few decades.

It's a global phenomenon, of course.

We're travelling a bit slower, but we're still getting there. Credit:Jason South

Around the world, advanced economies have stagnated, unable to generate the sort of rapid growth of earlier eras. In a way, slower growth is a badge of success, a sign of having moved up the economic ladder.

Today, some of the most advanced economies in the world, where citizens enjoy the highest living standards available, are also considered the most moribund. Japan's economy has been backsliding for decades. The United States is running purely on the fumes of Donald Trump's enormous tax cuts.

Australia, too, appears finally to have joined the "go slow" club.

We're advancing, but slower than we've become accustomed to. Illustration: Dionne GainCredit:

Our rate of annual economic growth, having consistently oscillated around 4 per cent during the 1990s, has had a 2 in front of it for much of this decade.

We were protected, for a time, by two distinct booms over the past decade. First, even after the global financial crisis hit, we........

© Brisbane Times