Via The Economist
Growth in global productivity, measured as output per person in work, fell to 2.2% in 2008, according to the Conference Board, a business-research firm. It expects labour-productivity growth to drop to just 1.4% this year. The most dramatic declines are likely to be in rich countries. Labour productivity is expected to stagnate in America, following growth of 1.6% last year. Productivity in Japan is set to decline by 1.8%. It is likely to fall in “old Europe” (the EU excluding its newest members) as well. The outlook for the biggest emerging economies is more encouraging. Chinese labour productivity is expected to rise to 9.1% in 2009, up from 7.7% last year. Brazil’s productivity growth is forecast to pick up to 4.4%.