Productivity rise fuels economic hopes

UK productivity records largest gain since 2011

However, financial services showed a negative contribution, falling 0.5 per cent.

Despite the positive news, if data reveals productivity fell back again in the final quarter of 2017, Britain could complete a full decade with no growth in the amount of work produced by each worker.

Hourly labour productivity in the United Kingdom showed its largest increase since 2011 between the second and third quarters of a year ago, official figures have shown.

This rise topped the previous post-global financial crisis peak in Q4 of 2016 by 0.3% and lifted productivity to 1% above its peak in Q4 2007 prior to the economic downturn.

Economists said that the rise was the result of stronger growth in manufacturing, weaker jobs growth and...

In a sign the UK's much-maligned productivity puzzle may have come a step closer to being solved, the Office for National Statistics said productivity rose 0.9 per cent in the third quarter.

'The pick-up in productivity in the third quarter suggests that some of the weakness in the first half may have been cyclical, ' Archer said.

Companies in the business services sector contributed strongly to the productivity growth in the third quarter, as did the IT sector, energy firms, chemical and pharmaceutical companies, retailers and public services.

"Businesses may have been keen to employ given concerns over potential labour shortages and also given the low cost of labour (particularly relative to capital)". However, this was the most sluggish unit labour cost growth since the second quarter of 2015.

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