British productivity drops slightly in Q1

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-15 00:44:07|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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LONDON, May 14 (Xinhua) --British productivity fell slightly in the first quarter of 2019, recording the third consecutive quarter decrease, according to figures released Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Data showed that British productivity, which measured by the output per hour, fell by 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019, compared with the same period in the previous year, keeping the third consecutive quarter drop.

In contrast, output per worker in the first quarter rose by 0.7 percent, compared with the same quarter one year earlier.

In addition, British unemployment rate was estimated at 3.8 percent in three months to March 2019, hitting its lowest point since the end of 1974.

Before adjusting for inflation, British average weekly wages including bonuses for employees increased by 3.2 percent from a year earlier.

Suren Thiru, head of economics and business finance at British Chambers of Commerce, said: "Notable downside to the robust headline labor market figures is weak productivity with firms tending to hoard labor rather than invest."

"The cooling in UK wage growth is unsurprising with weak productivity, high upfront costs for business and a sluggish economy limiting the extent to which pay settlements are able to continue rising," Thiru added.

James Smith, research director in Resolution Foundation, a London-based think tank, said: "Third consecutive quarter of declining productivity growth, the first since the depths of the euro-area crisis. Clear that productivity is the big problem facing the UK."