UK productivity rises at fastest rate in four years

Created: 05 October 2015

Productivity across the UK economy rose at its fastest rate in four years in the second quarter according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). However, the news coincided with two surveys showing UK manufacturing struggling to maintain growth.

Productivity is a key indicator for the Bank of England, as it considers whether to put up interest rates.

Output per hour rose 0.9% between April and June, the biggest quarter-on-quarter rise in four years. Output per house expresses the amount produced by a company after all its costs have been stripped out. The more efficient, or productive the company, the greater its level of output per hour.

Since 2009, output per hour has expanded at an average quarterly rate of between 0.2% and 0.3%.

The ONS also said unit labour costs – the costs to companies of employing staff – rose 2.2% in the second quarter versus the same time last year – the fastest rate since the fourth quarter of 2012.

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EU extends import duties on U.S. biodiesel to 2020

Created: 30 September 2015

The European Union is extending anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties imposed on U.S. biodiesel imports for a further five years, until September 2020, maintaining its defence against trade in the renewable fuel source.

The bloc set the duties in 2009 on a number of U.S. producers of biodiesel, including Archer Daniels Midlands and Co and Cargill Inc, effectively bringing to halt $1 billion in annual trade.

The EU decided there was still a risk of harm if the duties were lifted and so chose to extend them, an official EU journal stated on Tuesday.

The original issue was a U.S. tax credit of $1 per gallon of biodiesel produced, which the European Commission judged was harming European producers.

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