Category Archive: 20. National

Jul 17

Despair knocks productivity

July 2017 Janet Yellen, Chair of the US Federal Reserve, considers President Donald Trump’s  growth target of 3% per annum over the next five years to be “quite challenging” At present, the rate slumbers at a mere 0.5%, having been around 2% over the past decade She holds that a major factor holding down productivity …

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Jun 22

Political Parties’ Productivity Plans

June, 2017 Productivity is the biggest peacetime issue facing all UK political parties – annual improvements are vital if living standards and average earnings are to be raised – so what did their recent manifestos say about it? Conservative Manifesto: Introduce a National Productivity Investment Fund – to spend £23bn by the end of the …

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May 15

National Productivity positions built on sand

May, 2017 On Friday, 12 May, 2017, I read an article about Chinese productivity posted by Bloomberg journalist Michael Schuman and sent him the following email: Michael, I read your article about Chinese productivity with great interest The first step in any major productivity improvement drive is indeed to establish the current position – where are you …

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Jan 29

Elephants in the productivity room

January, 2017 The great financial journalist Martin Wolf of the FT recently opined about the current state of UK productivity – disappointingly, his words offered no new insights and were simply a regurgitation of current groupthink. He kicked off with the now well-worn cliche from Paul Krugman about productivity being ‘almost everything’ – and then trotted …

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The Productivity Puzzle – a MIRACLE solution

December, 2016 The US is worried about the puzzle of their low GDP and productivity growth – likewise the UK and other G7 nations – all are suffering in much the same way, which must offer a clue as to what’s going on Explanations offered by a variety of experts include: M = Mismeasurement of …

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Why do national productivity gaps persist?

December, 2016 Philip Hammond, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, says: “It takes a German worker four days to produce what a UK worker makes in five” Others say much the same about French workers But such claims are not new, they’ve been made over the last 30 years at least – big changes are never …

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It’s the rest, not the best, that’s the problem

September, 2016 Brooking’s Martin Neil Baily and Nicholas Montalbano summarised the global productivity puzzle recently “The most promising sign for future growth is that the most productive firms are growing faster than the rest – the frontier is still moving out – but the diffusion of best practices is not pulling the rest of industry …

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Government action needed post Brexit

August, 2016 In the Guardian, Katie Allen  has just recommended SEVEN ways Prime Minister Theresa May could ‘lift the UK economy’s post-Brexit’ blues: Tax cuts – esp VAT More infrastructure spending Delaying the planned apprenticeship levy Boosting productivity via investment in innovation, education and infrastructure Reduced planned rises to the national living wage Helicopter money …

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UK public sector wastes £120 billion – every year!

June, 2013 A new report from the Taxpayers’ Alliance claims that the UK public sector wastes £120 billion each and every year This is despite claims to be tightening belts and being forced to close libraries or fire lollipop ladies. It’s equivalent to some £4,500 for every British family. Much is due to public sector staff …

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