THE NEWS WRAP: Productivity drop could spell end of Australia’s economic growth

Australia’s 20 years of economic growth could be under threat if businesses do not see a return to previous levels of productivity, a new report has warned.


The McKinsey Global Institute study showed that national income grew by 4% to more than $1 trillion between 2005 and 2011, with the mining boom proving the driving force.


However, $135 billion in annual income is at stake if productivity does not return to its previous levels seen during the 1990s, the report warns.


Cigarette giants vow to fight on


Big tobacco has vowed to fight the Federal Government’s plain cigarette packaging legislation, despite yesterday’s High Court decision which backed the new laws.


Tobacco giant Philip Morris said there were “ongoing” legal challenges to the laws, claiming that there was no evidence that they would reduce smoking rates.


The Australian Retailers Association has called the laws “draconian” and points out that they will add compliance costs to retailers.


Gates turns focus to loos


Microsoft founder Bill Gates is funding innovation in a previously under-reported entrepreneurial area – toilets.


Gates’ charitable organisation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, held the Reinvent the Toilet competition in Seattle, where 28 inventors came up with new ideas for disposing waste.


The inventions, which include turning excrement into charcoal, are aimed at improving sanitation in the developing world.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 7.36 points, or 0.06%, to 13,164.78. The Australian dollar was up to US105.05 cents.


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