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The UK’s biggest economic challenge isn’t Brexit—it’s low productivity growth

It’s often said that in the long run, productivity growth is almost everything. In the case of the UK, the long run has finally arrived

By Duncan Weldon  

Cars on the Final Assembly line, part of Jaguar Land Rover's Advanced Manufacturing Facility in Solihull, Birmingham. Picture date: Wednesday March 15th, 2017. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/ EMPICS. The Final Assembly facility is the size of 12 football pitches, and sees the final assembly of Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar and Jaguar F-PACE cars. Jaguar Land Rover exports 80% of cars produced in the UK, to over 136 markets worldwide. Photo: Matt Crossick/Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment

Over the past few months the UK economic outlook has darkened. After a surprisingly upbeat performance in the second half of 2016, growth has slowed, real incomes have been squeezed and forward momentum has slipped away.

It is of course tempting, to someone who warned against the economic risks of a vote to leave the European Union, to lay the blame for our recent problems entirely at the door of Brexit. But whilst that…

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