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Potential Growth and Inflation: Estimates for Australia, the United States and Canada

Mardi Dungey () and John Pitchford

Australian Economic Review, 2004, vol. 37, issue 1, 89-101

Abstract: Estimates of potential output growth for Australia, the United States and Canada are presented and analysed in this article. We define potential growth as that growth rate consistent with a steady (domestic component of the) inflation rate (SIRG). At around 4 per cent per annum, Australia's SIRG has been relatively stable for the past 30 years, which seems inconsistent with the view that wide-ranging microeconomic reform in the 1990s raised growth potential. However, we show that the reduction in employment growth in Australia from the 1980s to the 1990s may account for the absence of a rise in potential growth. In Canada and the United States the SIRGs are closer to 3 per cent, and we explore the reasons why potential growth estimates are higher for Australia than for North America. We also discuss why Australia's growth averaged less than its potential in the 1980s and 1990s and the possible use of our estimates for monetary policy purposes. Copyright 2004 The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research.

Date: 2004
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