Productivity Level In Key Sectors Being Examined

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Productivity measurement and growth in key trade and non-traded sectors in Barbados will be examined when The Productivity Council conducts its annual Macro Productivity Indicators Project (MPIP).

Economist and Project Manager of the MPIP at The Council, Nadia Skeete, disclosed that data was now being collected on the construction, accommodation, financial services, manufacturing, transportation, storage and communication, and wholesale and retail trade sectors.

She added that the farms and plantations sector would be included for the first time this year.

Now in its 12th year, the Project aims at providing a comprehensive assessment of how effectively the country is harnessing its human, physical and technological resources to generate sustainable economic growth. It is designed to measure productivity at the firm, sectoral and macroeconomic levels in Barbados.

Ms. Skeete underscored its importance, saying it was unfortunate that there were still some persons in the business arena who did not see the significance of productivity indicators to the overall economy of a country.

???It is a widely known fact that an increase in productivity, no matter how marginal, has implications for growth, competitiveness, increased earnings and ultimately the standard of living for a country???s citizens.

The project, therefore, has a great deal of statistical and strategic significance to Barbadian businesses and to the economy as a whole,??? she remarked.

She explained that MPIP gives insight into some issues such as a company???s efficiency and cost effectiveness, output and growth, historical, actual and projected sectoral performance, profitability, strategic positioning and options, as well as industrial relations negotiations.

Ms. Skeete pointed out that the use of productivity indicators also provide policymakers, trade unions, educational institutions and international investors with a clear picture of how Barbados compares to its regional partners vis-a-vis productivity growth.

???Nationally, the Project is able to provide a statistically-valid link between wage increases, inflation, labour and productivity since labour productivity indicators, absenteeism, output per employee and unit labour cost per sector are derived from the data collected,??? she stated.

The Project is currently in its data collection phase and companies are being encouraged to participate and facilitate the interviews requested by the enumerators.

Ms. Skeete said the global business environment now makes it mandatory that companies control and manipulate every strategic advantage they have over their competitors. Therefore, she opined, the results of the Project would be strategically and tactically important to businesses and the country as a whole.

???This can only be useful, however, if executives and managers understand what productivity means and how it impacts on their company???s development and survival. Therefore, it is critical that they build organisational cultures which emphasise the measurement and monitoring of productivity growth,??? the Economist stressed.

Those companies interested in participating in the Macro Productivity Indicators Project should contact The Productivity Council at 626-9416, or 626-9427, or email mpip@productivitycouncil.org.bb.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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