Total Economy Database™ - Key Findings

May 2016 

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Rebound in Global Productivity Growth Not in Sight

Productivity developments in 2015

  • Growth in global output per worker slowed down in 2015, mainly because of a slowdown in output growth in emerging markets and developing economies:
    • Productivity in resources-rich economies in Latin America, Africa and Russia is declining on the back of declining oil prices
    • China’s labor productivity growth (using TCB series) declined substantially from 5.2% in 2014 to 3.3% in 2015, while the other major Asian economies including India are holding up relatively well
  • Output and productivity growth in mature economies remained steady although at modest growth rates:
    • The US economy almost repeated its 2014 performance with subdued output/worker at 0.7% and output/hour at 0.3%
    • Europe saw faster labor productivity growth in 2015 well ahead of U.S
    • UK performed relatively well at 1%, due to slower employment growth
    • Japan’s productivity recovered to positive territory
    • Other mature economies slowed down significantly, especially in Canada, Australia, Singapore and Taiwan


Productivity developments in 2016

  • Global productivity growth is expected to remain moderate in 2016 at 1.5% (compared to 1.2% in 2015)
  • Mature economies output and employment growth is expected to slow down proportionally, though divergence is increasing:
    • GDP and employment in the U.S. are both projected to grow by 1.7%.  As a result, productivity as measured by output per worker will be stagnant, and slightly negative on an output per hour basis.
    • Europe and Japan are not seeing major changes in growth rates
    • The UK output per hour growth rate is projected to drop back to zero
  • Emerging markets output growth is projected to moderately improve in 2016, while employment growth will remain stable, so that growth in output per worker is expected to pick up a little
    • The improvements in productivity growth mainly come from resources-rich economies, such as Russia, Brazil, Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, hence depending on price developments


Download the Productivity Brief Summary Tables:

The Conference Board 2016 Productivity Brief - Summary Tables

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