U.K. labor productivity declined in the fourth quarter, while labor costs rose moderately, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Wednesday.
Labor productivity as measured by output per hour dropped 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter from prior three months, when it grew 0.5 percent.
In 2014 as a whole, labor productivity was little changed from 2013. Despite weak productivity growth, unit labor costs increased moderately.
There was a broad-based and robust recovery in productivity across manufacturing in 2014 as a whole. Productivity also grew across the construction industry. In services industries, productivity grew a little, the ONS said.
Productivity currently remains limited compared to pre-crisis levels and the latest relapse will fuel concern that much of this has to do with structural factors, IHS Global Insight’s Chief UK Economist Howard Archer said.
How productivity develops going forward will be a critical factor in how soon and how far the Bank of England raises interest rates, he noted.
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