Productivity Decline a ‘Wake-Up Call’ for the UK

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Declining productivity should be “a wake-up call” for the UK, business leaders warned after new data showed it dropped sharply during the first three months of 2018, the Financial Times reported. Output per hour worked fell by 0.5 per cent during the first quarter of 2018 as hours worked rose without a matching increase in economic growth, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics on Tuesday. Other labour market data produced by the ONS pointed to increases in wage growth and employment in the first quarter of the year. But productivity growth has been the missing piece of the UK recovery since the 2008 financial crisis and is thought to be the best guarantor of long term improvements in living standards. “This decrease in productivity should be a wake-up call for all of us,” said Tony Danker, chief executive of Be the Business, a group of business leaders trying to tackle Britain’s lacklustre productivity growth. Read more. (Subscription required.)