UK closing the productivity gap with EU rivals

The UK is making roaring progress towards closing the productivity gap with its principal EU competitors, according to research from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The official data reveals that the UK has halved the productivity gap with France and reached parity with Germany in terms of output per worker – a headline measure of productivity.

The UK is also the only country in the G7, which includes France, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada, to have kept pace with US productivity over the last decade.

Trade and industry secretary Alan Johnson said: “This report highlights the progress we’ve made on productivity. But it is clear that for business and government to respond to globalisation, we still need to do more to raise our productivity.”

Raising productivity is traditionally viewed as being harder to achieve at times of high employment.

The DTI’s findings are in stark contrast to recent research from National Statistics, the government’s statistics agency, which found that the productivity of UK workers is 27% lower than the US, and remains below the average of the across the G7 nations.

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