Department of the Environment

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Publications archive - Ecologically Sustainable Development


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Are We Sustaining Australia? Report Against Headline Sustainabilty Indicators

Environment Australia, 2002
ISBN 0 642 54771 8

Value 5: Economic Capacity

Rationale for inclusion of issue

Economic capacity is an essential pre-requisite of economic development.

Indicator 7

Growth in Multi-factor Productivity (Gross product per combined unit of labour and capital) for latest year (1999-2000) 1.1%

Source: ABS Cat. No. 5204.0 Table 17

Rationale for selection of indicator

Multi-factor Productivity estimates are indexes of real GDP per combined unit of labour and capital. They have been derived by dividing chain volume estimates of market sector GDP by a combined measure of hours worked and capital services. (Chain volume estimates are obtained by applying the average movement in prices of the previous financial year to the current price estimates, in order to remove the direct effects of changes in prices over the period under review.)

More generally, Multi-factor Productivity measures increases in productivity in the economy. Productivity growth is the most important source of sustained growth in a country's real per capita income. Increases in productivity provide the basis for increased living standards by all individuals.

Explanatory and elaborative information

During 1999-2000, Multi-factor Productivity increased 1.1%. This was mainly due to a 2% increase in labour productivity.

Multifactor productivity percentage change


Percentage Change (a)

1964-65 to 1968-69


1968-69 to 1973-74


1973-74 to 1981-82


1981-82 to 1984-85


1984-85 to 1988-89


1988-89 to 1993-94


1993-94 to 1999-00


(a) Compound annual percentage change between MFP cycle peaks.

Multi-factor Productivity percentage change (a)

Multi-factor Productivity percentage change (a)

(a) Compound annual percentage change between MFP cycle peaks.
Source: ABS Cat. No. 5204.0

Supplementary indicators