Productivity growth halted
Labour productivity in the 2nd quarter of 2019 (April to June) as measured by output per hour – fell by 0.5% compared with the equivalent quarter in 2018 – according to figures released by the ONS.
This follows two quarters of productivity growth, and again highlights the UK’s long running ‘productivity puzzle’, which started in the wake of the financial crash.
The fall in productivity cut across all sectors of the UK economy. The general trend has been slower productivity growth, interspersed with short periods of faster growth.
Public sector productivity has now fallen for the last four quarters. The ONS comments that productivity growth in the ‘market’ sector over the last 10 years has been driven largely by improved labour skills and ‘capital deepening’. However, opportunities to apply new technology to the UK’s large service sector are much more limited than for the manufacturing sector.
With Brexit uncertainty likely to have a significant negative influence on investment decisions in the manufacturing sector, it is likely that these relatively low productivity numbers for the whole economy will continue.
Productivity growth halted
Labour productivity in the 3rd quarter of 2018 (July to September, 2018) as measured by output per hour – grew by just 0.2% compared with the equivalent quarter in 2017 – according to figures released by the ONS.
This is just 10% of the growth levels (of 2%) prior to the financial crash, and provides further confirmation of the UK’s productivity ‘puzzle’.
Productivity up – the largest increase since 2011
Labour productivity using the ONS’s headline measure of output per hour, rose by 0.9% in the third quarter of 2017 (July to September, 2017). This means that productivity is now 1.7% higher than the pre-downturn peak.
2nd Quarter, 2017
The productivity puzzle continues Labour productivity using the ONS’s headline measure of output per hour, fell by 0.1% in the second quarter of 2017 (April to June, 2017). This means that productivity is still below the level reached in the period immediately before the economic downturn.
Ist Quarter, 2017
Productivity – as measured by output per hour – fell by around 0.5% in the first quarter of 2017, taking it back below its peak level of 2007, according to figures released by the ONS. The poor figures are seen as further evidence of the UK’s ‘productivity puzzle’.
UK productivity (as measured by output per hour) is estimated to have grown by 0.4% between the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2016, according to figures release by the ONS (Jan 6th 2016). Despite the growth, there remains a ‘productivity puzzle’, with growth in productivity lower than before the economic downturn. The overall growth figures also hide the problem of poor manufacturing productivity, which fell by 0.2%, masked only by rising productivity in the service sector.