UK productivity suffers the worst Fall in five Decades

The amount – measured by output per hour fell by 0.5%, following two preceding quarters of zero expansion.

It included: “This continuing period of declining labor productivity reflects a continuation of the UK’s’productivity mystery’.”

The ONS added that expansion because the economic recession in 2008 has been”growing more slowly than through the lengthy period before the recession”.

“Unsure of what is around the corner, companies’ investment in the new technology and equipment that pushes their performance up was stifled. Many businesses are also trimming their investment pipelines for the year before developing a cash cushion in expectation of challenging financial conditions beforehand.”

Jon Boys, by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said: “Firms might have more immediate concerns than increasing productivity, but it is the only means to boost pay packets in the long run.

“We should not be deceived by recent strong earnings growth figures, which are driven by a tight labour market rather than an increase in companies’ capacity to pay”

Howard Archer, the chief economic advisor to the EY Item Club, commented: “Heightened concerns over Brexit – particularly serious concerns among several businesses of the UK leaving the EU with no deal – has caused companies to restrict their investment with damaging consequences for productivity.

“In case a Brexit bargain is agreed and appreciated by 31 October, this may dilute business uncertainty and supply some boost to business investment, which might be great news for growth prospects”