5260.0.55.002 - Estimates of Industry Multifactor Productivity (Media Release), 2016-17 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2018   
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24 January 2018

Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)

Agriculture productivity growth stands out in 2016-17

Multifactor productivity across 16 of Australia’s industries increased 0.6 per cent in 2016-17, driven in part by growth in agriculture productivity, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said the latest multifactor productivity (MFP) estimates show that the annual rise was below the long term annual average of 0.9 per cent and included "significant variations across industry groups".

"An exceptionally good season for agricultural products in 2016-17 saw agriculture productivity rise 18.3 per cent, the fastest rate of growth since 2003-04," said Mr Hockman.

"MFP growth was also strong in the Arts and Recreation services industry (6.2%) due to a fall in hours worked in that industry.

"The largest decline was seen in Construction which fell 7.3 per cent. Growth was weighed down by reductions in new mining and heavy industrial projects, which outweighed the demand for new infrastructure work.

"Manufacturing MFP fell 4.7% and Other services MFP fell 4.6%, both on the back of an increase in reported hours worked."

"Total MFP growth reflected 1.9 per cent real Gross value added (GVA) growth outpacing combined inputs growth of 1.3 per cent. The growth in combined inputs was driven by 0.8 per cent increase in hours worked and 1.9 per cent rise in capital services. This reflected the relatively equal share recently published between labour and capital income, although again there was significant variation between industries.

Mr Hockman also said that for the first time the ABS was releasing experimental estimates of state and territory productivity, providing an indication over two decades of relative state productivity growth rates.

"These estimates show varied MFP growth for states and territories across the available timeseries. From 1994-95 to 2016-17, average MFP growth for states ranged from 0.3 per cent (Tasmania) to 1.0 per cent (New South Wales)." Mr Hockman said.

Further information and data are available in Estimates of Industry Multifactor Productivity, 2016-17 (cat no. 5260.0.55.002) on the ABS website at https://www.abs.gov.au.

Media note:
  • In simple terms, productivity is broadly defined as the ratio of a volume measure of output (that is, goods and services produced) to a volume measure of input. The MFP estimates in this publication use Gross Value Added output, while the inputs are labour (hours worked) and capital (capital services). Further information can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions section.
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070 (8.30am - 5pm Mon-Fri).
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