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Greater productivity can grow the UK economy by £94 billion

Anthony Impey, CEO of Be the Business, responds to the ONS UK productivity flash estimate figures.

London, 15 August 2023: UK productivity data published by the Office for National Statistics today showed that growth in output per hour worked for April to June 2023 was up 0.1% compared with the same quarter a year ago, and 1.4% above its pre-COVID-19 level.

Responding to these figures, Anthony Impey, CEO of Be the Business, an independent charity that inspires greater business productivity, said:

“As the ONS data continues to demonstrate, the UK is struggling to make meaningful productivity gains. The implications of this are huge. Productivity is the single biggest determinant of living standards: the UK’s flatlined productivity has enormous implications for all of us.

“Righting our productivity record will be a challenge, but it is not impossible. Recent data gathered by Be the Business revealed that maintaining a 1% annual improvement in SME productivity over five years would grow the UK economy by £94bn, equivalent to over half the annual budget of NHS England. 

“This improvement would also add an average of an extra £65,000 in additional profit annually for every small business. It’s an opportunity we can’t afford to miss.”

A recent report from Be the Business compares the productivity of SMEs in G7 countries. It finds that UK businesses are under-indexing on performance, and investment and improvement in capabilities linked to productivity. However, small business leaders in the UK showed high confidence and a positive outlook, ranking fourth on confidence overall, despite a lack of activity across key capability areas including management skills, HR and operational efficiency.  


Notes to editor 

1 The G7 Productive Business Index report can be read here.

About Be the Business

Be the Business is an independent charity that inspires greater productivity, by connecting leadership teams to the curated expertise needed to answer today’s challenges. By combining peer-to-peer networks, the employee expertise found within pioneering corporate partners, independent business experts and our research and insights, we inspire leadership teams to create and deliver sustainable business change. Collectively we’re transforming the UK’s productivity, raising the value of businesses in our communities, safeguarding jobs and improving standards of living.


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