At 11:30 this morning, the ABS published the Australian national accounts for the March quarter of this year. Among other things, they show that the rate of productivity growth has surged – in the past year, labour productivity in the market sector grew at its fastest pace in over a decade. I’m sure this will be a major focus of the news coverage tomorrow, just as the disappointing productivity numbers were closely examined in early 2011. Just in case The Australian doesn’t choose to highlight the issue, here’s a handy chart for your reference:
Labour productivity in the market sector – year ended growth
Source: Calculations based on ABS 5206, table 1.
While it’s true that you should be careful about drawing too many conclusions from the quarterly productivity data, that was just as true this time last year when various pundits leapt on the data to suggest that the Fair Work Act has damaged Australia’s productivity performance.