UK productivity shows small rise

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image captionMeasures of UK productivity are of use to economic decision makers

UK workers managed to increase their output per hour by 0.6% in the July-to-September period, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said.

It was the biggest rise in productivity for more than three years and the first rise of any kind since the second quarter of 2013.

However, the ONS said productivity remained about 2% below its pre-recession level of 2008.

UK workers' productivity has remained weak, despite the economic recovery.

Two weeks ago, the head of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), Robert Chote, said that this "productivity puzzle" was the biggest risk to the UK's economic health.

Measures of productivity, essentially the quantity of goods and services produced per worker or per hour, can be used to inform estimates of an economy's ability to grow without generating too much inflation.

It is an important factor for the Bank of England to consider when making interest rate decisions, as it helps it to forecast inflation.

The UK is known to be less productive than other similar developed countries.

While the UK has seen an improvement in output, productivity has failed to rise in tandem - creating the "productivity gap" - and is below that of other developed countries.

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