UK productivity at its worst compared with rivals

Today's Times reveals what is at the heart of the problems facing UK businesses

The UK's level of productivity has fallen further behind other leading western economies than at any other time since comparable records began in 1991.

The output per hour worked in the UK was 18 percentage points below the average of the other six members of the G7 group of industrial nations in 2014, according to the Office for National Statistics. Germany was 36 percentage points higher, which was the widest gap ever recorded against a G7 country.

On an output per worker basis, the figures were even worse for the UK, with productivity 19 percentage points below the average for the rest of the G7 nations in 2014. Output per hour worked has been stagnant for the UK since the financial crisis, with productivity 14 points below where it would have been if trends had continued as they were before the credit crunch.

Or, in other words, too many people don't work hard enough.

Days to January 31st