04 February 2011
France tops Euro productivity league
New productivity data published today (4 February) highlights a further rise in labour productivity across the European Union, thereby extending the current period of improvement to 21 months. Furthermore, the pace of increase accelerated since December to a five-month high and put France in first place in the growth league.
For the first time since April 2009, service providers recorded mildly stronger growth in output per worker than manufacturing firms.
Broken down by nation, the latest data highlighted gains across the EU's four largest economies, the strongest of which was recorded in France – where output per employee rose at the strongest pace since last July. Marked gains were recorded in both the manufacturing and service sectors.
Productivity growth accelerated in Germany during January. The resultant increase in output per worker was the fastest since last August. German service providers recorded a slightly stronger rise in productivity than manufacturers.
Italian private sector companies posted a solid increase in output per worker during the latest survey period. In contrast to the trends seen elsewhere, however, productivity gains were manufacturing-led.
UK-based private sector companies recorded the weakest rise in labour productivity of the EU 'big four' during January. The performance of manufacturers and service providers varied substantially, with a solid rise in services productivity offsetting near-stagnation in the manufacturing sector.
The steepest overall rise in output per head was recorded in Real Estate, which registered the strongest improvement since March 2010. Strong productivity gains were also recorded in the Transport, Telecommunications and Autos sectors.
The Pharmaceuticals and Food Manufacturing sectors both recorded modest falls in output per worker during January. In each case, this signalled a deterioration in performance since December.
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