Wednesday, January 04, 2012
Strong numbers for productivity, profitability
Posted by David Smith at 10:00 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

The Office for National Statistics, in presenting the latest (Q3 2011) productivity figures, chooses to emphasise the output per hour measure, which showed a modest rise of just 0.2%. Within the data, however, there was also a very strong, 1.2%, rise in output per worker and output per job.

This was the counterpart to the big drop in employment in the quarter and the rise of 0.5% in GDP. It may be a one-off but could also indicate that productivity, after being unusually subdued, is finally getting back in gear. The release is here.

Also released, figures showing that British companies are doing rather well. The net rate of return for non-financial companies in Q3 2011 was 12.9%, the highest since Q3 2008 - the eve of the worst phase of the financial crisis - though disturbingly, the rate of return in manufacturing was just 5%. More here.