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How to grow the UK's dwindling productivity

The UK economy is stuck. GDP growth per person has been anaemic over the last 14 years, and last year it actually fell. The cause behind these concerning figures is the collapse in the growth of productivity. If the next government is going to improve public services and living standards, it will first need to improve the economy's productivity. Anna Valero and John Van Reenen assess the Conservatives' and Labour's plans for doing that, and argue that a radical approach is needed.

Improving the UK's growth prospects is a key priority for both main parties in the run up to the general election. Britain had close to zero growth in national income (GDP) in 2023, and slipped into a recession in the second half of the year. While the recession was short-lived and the economy returned to growth in the first quarter of 2024, the outlook remains poor with the IMF forecasting 0.7 per cent GDP growth for 2024.

Anna Valero and John Van Reenen

12 June 2024

LSE Politics and Policy

This work is published under POID and the CEP's Growth programme.