Productivity Brief

1st half of 2023 – Issue 04

News from the network of National Productivity Boards


1. Publications

1.1. National Productivity Boards’ annual reports

   Lithuania. December 2022. Assessment of the labour productivity developments in Lithuania and the EU.

The report focuses on productivity and investment developments in 2021. It concludes that Lithuania’s labour productivity growth needs to accelerate significantly to achieve sustainable growth convergence with the EU-15 Member States. However, as investment growth remains high in those Member States that are labour productivity leaders, there are no prospects of significant convergence with them soon.

   Latvia. 22 February 2023. Latvian Productivity Report 2022 (in Latvian).

This report consists of two main sections. The first shows the evolution of the country’s productivity growth since the mid-1990s, and the second is about investment. From 1996 to 2022, Latvia’s productivity growth exceeded that of the EU average, thus helping convergence with other EU countries. However, productivity levels remain low compared with the rest of the EU, due to low productivity in the manufacturing sector, which is dominated by low-tech industries. The sectors with the largest productivity convergence are agriculture and extractive industries, whereas energy supply and professional and scientific services sectors show the smallest. Moreover, since the mid-1990s, productivity growth in Latvia has been mostly due to within-sector productivity developments. The section on investment shows that an investment gap persists because of the sharp decline in private investment following the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent slow recovery.

    Denmark. 14 March 2023. Productivity 2023.

This report shows that productivity growth in Denmark has been higher than in several other countries since the global financial crisis. It reveals, first, that from 2000 to 2019, around a third of within-firm productivity growth in the manufacturing sector was driven by firms continuously changing their product mix. Second, higher energy prices lead to a significant drop in hourly productivity in the short term, while the underlying efficiency in the production process, measured by total factor productivity, does not change. Third, it is plausible that certain types of productivity growth can strengthen the labour supply and, consequently, public finances.

Another section of this report examines the consequences of automation in Danish manufacturing firms. It shows that there has been an increase in the number of firms investing in automating machinery. However, this investment has not increased significantly relative to other types of investment. Moreover, firms that invest in automation increase productivity and employment but reduce the labour share.

  The Netherlands. 17 April 2023. National Productivity Board 2022 annual report.

This report first discusses productivity developments in the Netherlands from 1996 to 2021. It shows that hourly productivity growth recovered strongly in 2021 after a dip in 2020. As in previous years, this was mostly due to growth in total factor productivity. The healthcare and manufacturing sectors were the largest contributors to the recovery. From 1996 to 2021, sectors with a high average growth in total factor productivity were characterised by both a high export-intensity and a high R&D-intensity.

Second, the report shows that digitalisation may have contributed to the quick recovery of successful firms’ turnover in 2020. It reveals a positive relationship between the initial share of teleworking and the turnover growth of firms. However, it does not find evidence that firms with good starting positions in ICT and software investments were more resilient than other companies in 2020.

Third, it presents evidence that support measures in 2020 have reduced the exit rates of low-productive firms more than high-productive firms. COVID-19 support measures therefore reduced productivity growth by postponing the exits of unviable firms.

  Malta. 19 May 2023. Malta-National Productivity Report 2022.

This report aims to present the key drivers of and challenges for the development of R&D in Malta. It analyses Malta’s R&D performance and its effect on productivity in eight sectors: (i) tourism; (ii) ICT; (iii) financial services; (iv) gaming and digital games; (v) aviation; (vi) pharmaceutical and electronics; (vii) plastics, toys, furniture and currency; and (viii) food and beverages. To improve R&D in Malta, it makes 10 recommendations to the government, each classified with a high, medium or low priority. The report also assesses progress made on past R&D recommendations.

  Austria. 27 June 2023. Productivity Report 2023: Austria’s sustainable competitiveness (in German).

This report consists of three sections covering developments in macroeconomics, social conditions, competitiveness (including sustainable competitiveness) and one section with policy recommendations. It notes that recent crises have exposed several structural weaknesses that could harm Austria’s medium-term competitiveness. The report also reveals that the outlook for the country’s economic growth is unfavourable: the main growth factor (expansion of the labour force, especially in low-skilled jobs) has reached its limit. Moreover, labour productivity growth has declined in recent decades, and the contribution of multifactor productivity to labour productivity has halved despite a considerable increase in R&D and high spending on education. Furthermore, Austria’s environmental and climate targets are unlikely to be met despite extensive measures. It also shows that participation in economic prosperity is limited by untapped potential in the labour market and weaknesses in the education system. These factors are also key for productivity growth and the green and digital transitions. Lastly, it makes 47 recommendations to the Austrian government. These include a call for swift action on the green and digital transformations of the economy as well as measures for more inclusive economic growth.

 1.2. Other NPB publications

  ‘The utilisation of artificial intelligence by Belgian companies’, Bureau Fédéral du Plan, Article n° 16, March 2023 (in French).

  Garnadt, N., Nöh, L., Salzmann, L., Schaffranka, C., ‘Assessment of the effect of the gas price brake on inflation and fiscal costs’, German Council of Economic Experts, Working paper 01/2023, March 2023 (in German).

  ‘Ireland’s Competitiveness Scorecard 2023’, National Competitiveness and Productivity Council, May 2023.

  ‘Productivity and Competitiveness from the stakeholders’ viewpoint’, Productivity Reviews no.1, KEPE, July 2023 (forthcoming at NATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY BOARD (

  Pisani-Ferry, J., Mahfouz, S., 2023, ‘The economic implications of climate action’, France Stratégie, Rapport, May 2023.

  Epaulard, A., 2023, ‘Economic implications of climate action- Productivity’, France Stratégie, Rapport, May 2023 (in French).

  Fontagné, L., 2023, ‘Economic implications of climate action- Competitiveness’, France Stratégie, Rapport, May 2023 (in French).

  Economic BarometerLV PEAK Economic Barometer No.1 (3) June 2023.

  Davies, L., Kattenberg, M., and Vogt B., 2023, ‘Predicting Firm Exits with Machine Learning: Implications for Selection into COVID-19 Support and Productivity Growth’, CPB Discussion Paper, March 2023.

  Freeman, D. and L. Bettendorf, 2023, ‘A rapid recovery of the Dutch economy may be due to digitalisation’, CPB, April 2023 (in Dutch).

  Soederhuizen, B., Bettendorf, L., Elbourne, A., Kramer, B., Meijerink, G., Wache, B., 2023, ‘A simulation of energy prices and corporate profits’, CPB, April 2023. 

  Reinstaller, A., 2023, ‘The competitiveness of the Austrian economy: a review of current assessments by international organizations’, Office of the Austrian Productivity Board, Reports 01/2023, January 2023.

  Reinstaller, A., 2023,’ Concepts of competitiveness. An illustrative literature overview’, Office of the Austrian Productivity Board, Reports 02/2023, January 2023 (in German).

  Molnárová, Z., 2023, ‘Productivity growth in Austria between 1995 and 2019’, Office of the Austrian Productivity Board, Reports 03/2023, March 2023.

  Reinstaller, A., Weichselbaumer, M., 2023, ‘Labor productivity growth and the standard of living in Austria between 2006 and 2019’, Office of the Austrian Productivity Board, Reports 04/2023, June 2023.

  Perko, M., Rogan, D., 2023, ‘What is the extent of available capacity in the labour market?, Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development, Ljubljana. Policy brief, January 2023 (in Slovenian).

  2023 Development Report, Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development, Ljubljana, April 2023.

Kajzer, A., Perko, M., Rogan, D., (2023). ‘Working hours and hours worked in light of possible shortening’, Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development, Ljubljana. Policy brief,  May 2023 (in Slovenian).

  Calligaris, S., O. Jurvanen, A. Lassi, F, Manaresi and R. Verlhac (2023), ‘The slow-down in Finnish productivity growth: Causes and consequences’, OECD Science, Technology and Industry Policy Papers, No. 139, OECD Publishing, Paris (paper in cooperation with the Finnish NPB).

2. NPB events

2.1. Past Events

  •    9 June 2023. National productivity board webinar.

 2.2. Upcoming events

  • Brussels, 13 December 2023. Joint EPC –NPB meeting and NPB workshop (in-person event, further details to be announced).

3. People

  •  Welcome to:

o    Mr David Xuereb, chair of Malta’s National Productivity Board.

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