British productivity shows mixed trend

The decline in British productivity slowed over the second quarter of 2009, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Productivity Bulletin released today.

Whole economy outlook per worker fell by 3.9% in the second quarter of 2009, compared with a fall of 4.4% in the first quarter of the year.

On a quarter-by-quarter basis, productivity increased by 0.3% compared with a 2% fall in the previous quarter.

Unit wage costs for the whole economy increased by 5.7% over the year, and by 1.6% compared with the first quarter of 2009. This was driven by an increase in average annual wages from a fall of 0.1% in the first quarter of 2009 to a rise of 1.6% in the second quarter.

On a sector basis, manufacturing fared best, with output per hour decreasing by 2.7% over the quarter, compared with a fall of 5.5% in the first quarter of 2009.

Services output decreased, falling by 3.3% over the second quarter of 2009 compared with a fall of 1.2% in the first quarter.

Market sector output per hour fell by 4.2%, compared with a 3.3% decline recorded in quarter one.

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