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UK productivity sees further fall

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The productivity of UK workers has fallen for the second quarter in a row, official figures indicate.Hourly output fell 0.1% in the April-to-June period, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.This follows a 0.5% decline in the first three months of the year.Economists have warned that the UK’s productivity continues to lag behind its major trading partners such as the US, France and Germany.The ONS said the fall represented a continuation of the UK’s “productivity puzzle”, referring to the relative stagnation of labour productivity since the financial crisis.It pointed to differences between the manufacturing and services sectors.Services output per hour grew by 0.2%, with output growth outpacing growth in hours worked. In contrast, the ONS said, manufacturing output fell while hours grew, so labour productivity in manufacturing declined by 1.3% during the quarter.On an annual basis, covering the 12 months after the UK voted to leave the EU, hourly output fell 0.3% from June 2016 to June 2017.The last time the ONS recorded a fall in annual productivity of that magnitude was in the year to September 2013.The UK has seen a steady economic recovery since the financial crisis, but it has been helped by longer hours and more people working.Productivity has failed to grow consistently, raising concerns for businesses and policymakers.
Source: BBC