Assessment Report: UK Productivity statistics

17 May 2021
Last updated:
17 May 2021

Annex 1: About the Statistics

Uses and Users

The main users and uses of the series include:

  • HM Treasury (HMT) and the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) – use assessment of trends in productivity growth to estimate the underlying trends in economic output, employment, and, hence, future growth and the capacity of the economy to support government spending. Quarterly labour productivity estimates are used to calculate the productivity performance of the UK over economic cycles. HM Treasury sets out the Government’s strategy for raising productivity and is jointly responsible with the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for delivering improvement in productivity performance. The Office for Budget Responsibility was created in 2010 to provide independent and authoritative analysis of the UK’s public finances.
  • Bank of England (BoE) – use productivity analysis to understand actual and trend levels of output, which enables it to assess current and future inflationary pressures in the economy, which is essential for monetary policy.
  • Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) – is responsible for improving national and regional productivity performance, for managing drivers of productivity growth (investment, innovation, skills, enterprise formation and competition) and for improving industry competitiveness in the market sector.
  • Government statisticians and analysts in devolved nations are interested in assessing regional productivity measures compared to other regions within the UK, given their effect on regional living standards and welfare.
  • Businesses – are interested in understanding the implications of productivity trends for the UK’s economic outlook and therefore for economic policy. They also use industry level productivity estimates as a benchmark to compare their own productivity performance.
  • Researchers and Academics – productivity analysis is often included in papers and presentations on the economic performance of the UK.
  • International Agencies – the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Eurostat compare productivity levels across countries and provide some insight into why differences exist.

Users are often looking for granularity – such as industry by region, city-regions, rural-urban and European sub-region comparisons. MFP can inform estimates of the productive capacity of the UK economy and highlight areas where policymakers may want to focus on to improve economic growth.

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