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A highly significant release has come today from the Office for National Statistics, one that has as much political significance as it does economic. “On an output per hour basis,” says the release in its customary dry language, “UK labour productivity increased by 0.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2013 to a level that was 0.7 per cent higher than a year ago.”

This rise in productivity is of the utmost significance. Rising productivity will cause wages to rise, which in turn will lead to improvements in living standards. This trend is a substantial problem for Ed Miliband.…

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