Philip Lowe: Productivity, wages and prosperity

Address by Mr Philip Lowe, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, to the Australian Industry Group, Melbourne, 13 June 2018.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
15 August 2018

I would like to thank Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) for the invitation to speak at this lunch today. I have participated in many Ai Group events over the years and I have always valued hearing from your members, so it is a pleasure to be here in Melbourne today.

The title I have chosen for my remarks this afternoon is ‘Productivity, Wages and Prosperity’. I know that these three issues are important to your members and they are also important to the broader Australian community.

Australians enjoy a level of economic prosperity that few other people in the world enjoy. Per capita incomes here are high and so, too, is wealth per capita. We have also avoided bouts of high unemployment for over a quarter of a century now. Our banking system is strong, we have worldclass natural resources and Australians have access to high-quality health care and education. So there is much for us to feel fortunate about.

The question is how do we sustain this prosperity?