UK productivity is now 28 per cent below its pre-crisis trend, following latest setback

Published on Public Finances and the Economy

UK productivity has fallen 28 per cent below its pre-crisis trend, the Resolution Foundation said today (Friday) in response to the latest ONS productivity figures for the first quarter of 2019.

The Foundation notes that output per hour has fallen by 0.2 per cent over the last year – the joint sharpest fall since the end of 2015 – and by 0.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2019.

It adds that UK productivity is now 28 per cent below its pre-crisis trend, when annual growth averaged 2.3 per cent. This unprecedented slump has been the central factor behind the UK’s living standards stagnation, says the Foundation.

Jack Leslie, Policy Analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “UK productivity fell again in early 2019, continuing the falls seen in the second half of 2018. This is very disappointing for the economy, and deeply worrying for people’s living standards prospects.

“Labour market productivity is now almost 30 per cent below the pre-crisis trend. This dismal record has been the single biggest driver of the stagnation in living standards over the last decade.

“Addressing the UK’s productivity slump is as important, and not unrelated to, addressing Brexit.”