United Kingdom productivity jumps at fastest pace since 2011

Mae Love
January 12, 2018

The figure marked a first rise since late 2016, and the biggest increase since the second quarter of 2011.

The pound maintained its gains on Friday (5 January) on the back of strong United Kingdom productivity data, as lacklustre U.S. jobs figures weighed on the dollar.

He said: 'A much-needed pickup in United Kingdom productivity in the third quarter as output per hour rose 0.9 per cent quarter-on-quarter, which is the best performance since the second quarter of 2011.

On an annual basis, manufacturers recorded a 2.1 per cent rise in the third quarter in contrast to a year ago, with the financial services sector also growing by 4.7 per cent over the period.

The ONS said that the increase "compares favourably with a long period of average productivity growth prior to the economic downturn" but noted that "trend productivity still remains lower" than pre-crisis times.

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The figure grew in two of the UK's three major sectors, with one per cent rises in both services and manufacturing.

Philip Hammond suffered a blow in the autumn Budget when the Office for Budget Responsibility downgraded its growth forecasts for the next five years because of historic weak productivity.

"The rebound in productivity in the third quarter is highly welcome, but it needs to be seen in the context of a particularly poor first-half performance".

But Howard Archer, EY ITEM Club's chief economic adviser, said there were indications 2017's statistics could end on an unexpected high. The relatively low cost of labour relative to capital certainly supports employment over investment'.

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