Keeping Australia productive after the boom

The market boards show the volatility at the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in Sydney. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Jenny Gordon, Australian Productivity Commission

Australia’s 2015 Intergenerational Report assumed that labour productivity would grow at an average annual rate of 1.5 per cent over the period 2015 to 2055. This is slightly lower than the growth in labour productivity over the last decade because multifactor productivity has stagnated.

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US–China rivalry: does Asia have to choose?

US President Barack Obama and Chinese president Xi Jinping walk the colonnade of the White House, Washington, DC, USA, 25 September 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Hugh White, ANU

Can America preserve the US-led regional order by resisting China’s challenge to replace it with ‘a new model of great-power relations’? That depends a lot on how much support the United States can expect from its friends and allies in the region. Read more…

What the Jakarta attack means for Indonesian terrorism

Indonesian police officers patrol near the site of the 14 January terrorist attacks in Jakarta, Indonesia, 17 January 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Greg Fealy, ANU

Two weeks after the terrorist attack in front of the Sarinah Department Store in central Jakarta, a clearer picture is emerging of the key figures behind the operation and its significance for Indonesian jihadism.

On 14 January, four perpetrators launched a mid-morning attack in the busy Sarinah area of Jakarta. Read more…

The Bank of Japan’s sub-zero shock

Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda speaks during a press conference following a monetary policy meeting at the BOJ headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, 29 January 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Masahiko Takeda, Hitotsubashi University

This winter has been relatively mild in Japan, but at least in financial markets, it is sub-zero. Governor Haruhiko Kuroda of the Bank of Japan (BoJ) announced on 29 January that the BoJ would apply a negative interest rate of minus 0.1 per cent to deposits that financial institutions hold at the Bank, starting from 16 February. Read more…

China’s RMB balancing act

Yuan banknotes are pictured in Beijing, China on 16 February 2014. China is facing the difficult task of transitioning to a floating exchange rate. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Editors, East Asia Forum

China is aiming to transition to a floating exchange rate — freely determined by the market — and to free capital flows in and out of China with an open capital account over the next decade. If this objective can be achieved, it will be unequivocally good for China and the global economy. Read more…

China still has room to move on RMB

A Chinese clerk counts yuan banknotes at a bank in Linyi city, Shandong province on 18 October 2012. Despite renminbi depreciation expectations, with the right policy mix, China should be able to stabilise the exchange rate. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Yu Yongding, CASS

In the first quarter of 2014, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) finally succeeded in breaking persistent renminbi (RMB) appreciation expectations. Unfortunately, the subsequent RMB depreciation coincided with the weakening of China’s economic fundamentals. Read more…

Trade agreements are in ASEAN’s best interests

A container truck passes by piles of containers at a terminal of Yangshan Deep-water Port in Shanghai, China. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Sanchita Basu Das, ISEAS

At the last Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in November 2015, the United States and China advanced their own set of interests with respect to trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region. While the United States celebrated the conclusion of its Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal in early October 2015, China stressed the potential of a Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

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