Lowe Says Aging Workers, Slow Productivity Risks Growth Outlook

March 12 (Bloomberg) -- Increased risk aversion among aging Australians and weaker productivity growth could see living standards rise more slowly in the future, central bank Deputy Governor Philip Lowe said.

* About half of decline in Australia’s labor force

participation rate since late 2010 is due to aging, Lowe

said in the text of a speech to be delivered in Sydney

today; the nation’s society has undergone “a subtle but

important” shift in the way it approaches risk and

innovation, he said * “More risk-averse society is naturally less inclined to

support and finance innovation, to implement new processes

and to apply new technologies,” the central bank’s No. 2

official said; “we are likely to face a greater challenge

than we have to date in generating productivity growth. This

means there is likely to be more of a premium on getting

policies right in some key areas related to innovation” * Lowe said Australia needs to address: access to startup

capital for new businesses; tax incentives for innovation;

support for research; business culture and assisting

entrepreneurs and promoting competition

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To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Heath in Sydney at +61-2-9777-1202 or mheath1@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at +65-6499-2617 or sphang@bloomberg.net Edward Johnson, Iain McDonald

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