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Press release

Productivity statistics

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Istat releases productivity statistics for the period 1995-2017. The productivity series are coherent with the results of the latest release of national accounts.

The adopted methodology closely follows the approach outlined in the OECD Manual on Productivity Measurement. Productivity is defined as the ratio of a volume measure of output to a volume measure of input. Both single factor productivity measures (relating a measure of output to a single measure of input) and multifactor productivity measures (relating a measure of output to a bundle of inputs) are estimated.

Labour productivity in the measured sectors increased by 0.8.% in 2017, as value added grew by 2.1% and hours worked went up by 1.3%. In the same year capital productivity rose by 1.2%, as capital input and multifactor productivity grew respectively by 0.9% and 1.0%.

The increase in labour productivity in 2017 was accounted for by a fall in capital deepening (i.e. a reduction of capital input relative to labour input) which contributed for -0.2 percentage points, with total factor productivity contributing for +1.0 percentage point.

Over the whole period 1995-2017, average annual growth rate in value added was 0.7%. Labour productivity rose by 0.4% due to labour input (+0.3%) increasing less than value added. In the same period capital input (+1.4%) and the combined inputs of capital and labour (0.7%) rose more than value added and capital productivity fell (-0.7%).

The growth in labour productivity in 1995-2017 was driven only by capital deepening, which contributed for +0.4 percentage points per year, with total factor productivity bringing in average no contribution. Tangible non-ICT capital contributed 0.2 percentage points, while ICT capital (i.e computer hardware, communications equipment and computer software) and intangible non-ICT capital contributed both for 0.1 percentage points in terms of yearly average.

Over the last cycle (2009-2015) value added decreased by 0.1% on yearly average. Labour productivity, capital productivity and total factor productivity all rose (respectively by +0.8%, +0.5% and +0.7% per year) due to hours worked, capital input and the combined inputs of capital and labour all decreasing more than value added (respectively -0.9%, -0.5% and -0.8%).

The growth in labour productivity in 2009-2015 was mainly driven by total factor productivity, which contributed +0.7 percentage points, with capital deepening contributing for +0.1 percentage points.

For information

Carmine Fimiani
Ph. +39 06 4673.3196
fimiani@istat.it

Reference period: Years 1995-2017

Date of Issue: 06 November 2018

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