Please read our student and staff community guidance on COVID-19
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

We're still in a productivity slump, but technology could lead us out

Header image for article

We're still in a productivity slump, but technology could lead us out

The UK's productivity slump is 'the most pressing economic issue of our time'. But is there a way out?

After the recent Queen's speech focuses on Brexit, David Smith of the Times muses when the productivity slowdown in the UK will be addressed by policymakers and how we might pull ourselves out of it. He cites recent research by Nicholas Crafts and Terence Mills published in Advantage Magazine which shows that this current slowdown is significantly worse than those experienced during the productivity slump of the late 1970s and after the shock of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

The waning influence of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has had a part to play in the current slowdown. But developments in Artificial Intelligence could boost productivity in the future. With the worst of the financial crisis behind us, and the chance that a no deal Brexit (which would set productivity and the economy back again) could be avoided, there may be a way out of the productivity slump.

David Smith, 'We're still in a productivity slump, but technology could lead us out of it', The Times, 16th October 2019

Nick Crafts, 'The Mother of All Slowdowns', Advantage Magazine, volume 1, issue 1, pp.8-10