PODCAST: Australian GDP, the shifting RBA outlook, and why economists are too focused on headline numbers rather than the way we live

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(L-R): Business Insider’s David Scutt, CBA senior economist Gareth Aird, and BI editor-in-chief Paul Colgan.

Gareth Aird thinks many economists focus too much on headline aggregate numbers in their analysis.

The senior economist at the Commonwealth Bank argues this leads to a blind spot in policy debates on the “lived experience” people have in the economy.

On this week’s episode of the Devils and Details podcast, Aird discusses the impact of this, particularly in terms of the vitally important question of population growth, the strength of which has helped to underpin Australia’s continuing economic growth over recent decades. It’s coming at a cost, and that’s being reflected in the political discussion over the right levels of immigration intake necessary to support industry but also to protect living standards, including in terms of functioning infrastructure.

After what was a big week for the Australian economy with the national accounts showing economic growth was far weaker than expected, Aird joined us on the show to discuss the latest data and why this is has shifted the outlook for the RBA’s official cash rate.

The conversation covers infrastructure policy, the political obsession with budget surpluses, population density, house prices, retail deflation and more.

You can find it here on iTunes or by searching “Devils and Details” wherever you get your podcasts. It’s online at this link, or you can tune in below.

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