July 5, 2017 / 8:52 AM / 20 days ago

UK productivity falls for first time since late 2015 - ONS

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A worker at perforating company Bion carries a piece of perforated metal at the factory in Reading, Britain September 22, 2016.Peter Nicholls/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - British economic productivity fell in the first three months of this year, the first decline since late 2015, the country's official statistics office said on Wednesday, underscoring the challenge ahead for Britain's economy.

Output per hour fell by 0.5 percent in the first quarter compared with the fourth quarter of 2016, taking productivity back below its previous peak hit in 2007, before the financial crisis, the Office for National Statistics said.

Writing by William Schomberg, editing by Andy Bruce

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