Australia is in its 23rd year of uninterrupted economic growth.
This means there is a whole generation of Australians who have never experienced a recession during their lives and equally a generation of Australians who have never experienced a recession in their working lives.
But it can’t last forever according, to Treasury boss Martin Parkinson who used a chart in his speech last night which showed just how remarkable this stretch of uninterrupted growth is in global terms.
The chart was used in the context of the forward projections which estimate that Australia will extend this stretch to 33 years which Parkinson thought might be difficult to achieve.
This chart puts the prospect of 33 years of consecutive growth into perspective.
We have already had nearly 23 years without an economic downturn. Excluding the re-building period in Japan following World War II, this has only been approached among developed economies by the Netherlands at 26.5 years from 1981 to 2008, on the back of the discovery of North Sea oil.
Were Australia to record 33 years of uninterrupted economic growth, as projected in MYEFO, it would be an extraordinary achievement, and one of which we should be very proud as a nation. It is not, however, something on which I would want to rely.
Australians love their world record holders and it looks like the economy might get one for economic growth but watch out for a recession soon after.
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