UK workers were a third less productive than their German and French counterparts last year as the gap with leading nations reached a record,

The UK lost ground to France, Germany, the US and Canada last year official figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed.

First estimates for 2014 suggest that output per hour in the UK was 20 percentage points below the average for the rest of the major G7 advanced economies, the widest productivity gap since comparable estimates began in 1991.

On an output per worker basis, UK productivity was also 20 percentage points below the average for the rest of the G7 in 2014.

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, has described productivity as “the ultimate determinant of people’s incomes and with it the capacity to support health, wealth and happiness”.

Across the G7 as a whole, productivity as measured by real (inflation adjusted) output per hour and output per worker grew modestly in 2014. Output per hour in the UK grew a little more slowly, and UK output per worker grew a little faster, than the G7 average.

Output per hour was lower in all G7 countries in 2014 than would have been the case if pre downturn trends had continued since 2007. The UK’s “productivity gap” of about 18% compares with a gap of about 7% for the rest of the G7.

First estimates in this release have been compiled before revisions to the UK National Accounts which will be published at the end of September. These and other revisions will be reflected in revised estimates which will be published in February 2016.

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