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Will fast productivity growth persist?
Strong productivity growth is essential for improving living standards and can have an important impact on economic policy, yet economists are far from being experts at predicting when the trend of productivity growth might shift. In the 1960s, productivity growth boomed, growing at an average annual rate of 2-1/2%. It weakened in the early 1970s, and for the next two decades or so averaged an annual growth rate of only about 1-1/4%. Then, in the mid-1990s, productivity growth boomed again, averaging about a 3% annual rate from the last quarter of 1995 through the middle of 2004. These shifts ...