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Will COVID Accelerate Productivity Growth?

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted an increasing number of rich-country firms to reduce their reliance on global supply chains and invest more in robots at home. But it is probably too soon to tell whether this switch will increase productivity growth in advanced economies.

MUNICH – Since the mid-2000s, productivity growth in advanced economies has been anemic. Average annual productivity growth in the United States from 2005 to 2016 was just 1.3%, less than half of the 2.8% annual growth rate recorded between 1995 and 2004. Across other OECD countries, annual productivity growth declined from 2.3% in the 1995-2004 period to 1.1% between 2005 and 2015.