Is US productivity (finally) perking up?

The slowdown in productivity growth in the advanced economies in the past decade has been caused by a mixture of long term structural factors and shorter term problems caused by the Great Financial Crash. These latter problems should begin to abate as the financial sector, and risk appetite among corporate investors, returns to normal, allowing capital investment to recover. For a long period, the recovery in global GDP proceeded without any sign that these improvements in productivity were taking place. However, there are now some tentative indications of some acceleration in underlying productivity growth in the US, the leading economy in the global cycle. This supports the stronger growth in real output which we believe is emerging in the US this year, despite the weak GDP figures in the first quarter.