Comprehensive database with annual data covering GDP, population, employment, hours, labor quality, capital services, labor productivity, and Total Factor Productivity for 123 countries in the world.
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About the March 2018 release
The March 2018 release of the Total Economy Database only includes an update to the labor productivity estimates. Updates to the growth accounting estimates are scheduled for release in November this year.
View our press release here.
View the Total Economy Database Summary Tables & Charts here.
Is there a productivity revival in the making?
- Global labor productivity (LP) growth improved in 2017 (2.0%) vis-à-vis 2016 (1.4%) and thereby starting a new upward trajectory.
- For 2018 we project a further uptick in LP growth to 2.3 percent as cyclical forces drive output growth ahead of increase input use. Despite this, the pre-crisis rates when global productivity grew on average at 2.7 percent (1997-2007) remain an elusive target.
- Despite higher overall growth rates in emerging economies, mature economies are increasingly driving global productivity growth, forecasting to account for nearly 30% of global productivity growth in 2018, up from only 14% in 2016. While emerging economies are still catching up to mature economies productivity levels, the process is slowing down.
- LP growth improved markedly in 2017, especially in the United States and Japan and to a lesser extent in Europe.
- The overall forecasts for 2018 show a significant improvement in LP growth as output growth sees an improvement over 2017, while labor growth stays behind, but with some important differences across geographies:
- United States LP growth is especially strong because of a marked improvement in output growth but similar growth in employment as seen in 2017.
- The improvement in Euro Area labor productivity growth is much more driven by a slowing rate of growth in employment and more or less similar GDP growth compared to 2017.
- Japan and the UK are experiencing productivity improvements more strongly based on jobless productivity growth as both economies are facing ever tightening labor markets in 2018.
- Despite the ongoing improvements, mature economies productivity growth rates need to improve a lot more to escape the anemic rates seen since about 2005.
- Emerging markets and developing economies on the whole saw their productivity growth rates climb from 2.2 percent in 2016 to 2.8 percent in 2017. We expect more of the same for 2018 (at 2.9 percent for 2018), as both employment and GDP growth edge up in tandem.
- China’s productivity growth remained strong, as total employment growth grinded to a halt in 2017 driven by an ageing population.
- Negative population growth, a slowing participation rate and stable unemployment rates are driving employment growth into negative territory for the first time in over fifty years.
- With output forecast to slow down only marginally, productivity growth is expected to improve somewhat in 2018 relative to 2017.
- Among the world’s largest economies, India continues to boast the highest labor productivity growth rates despite showing a slower rate in 2017 compared with 2016.
- With stable employment growth and somewhat improved output growth, productivity growth rates for 2018 are forecasted to improve reaching twice the global average.
- Brazil is one of the few countries to show a negative productivity growth rate for 2018, as employment has started to improve much more rapidly than output growth.
- Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole is forecasted to finally move out of negative productivity growth rates in 2018, as output is catching up with its surging population growth.