Purpose of the UK Competitiveness Indicators

In December 1999, the Government published the first ever set of Competitiveness Indicators for the UK, designed to compare our economic performance with that of other advanced economies.

The Competitiveness Indicators are used within Government to help design policies to drive up productivity and improve prosperity. The Indicators provide a framework for highlighting strengths and weaknesses, and helping identify areas that may need attention by Government.

This web-site presents the most recent data for the Competitiveness Indicators, and individual Indicators will be updated whenever new data is published. The most recent overall assessment of the UK’s performance against the Indicators can be found at:

Structure of the UK Productivity and Competitiveness Indicators

The Indicators are divided into the five drivers of productivity, as set out in the document, Productivity: The Evidence and the Government’s Approach. The five drivers are:

·         Investment – measures physical capital and ICT;

·         Innovation – measures of the science base, technology, commercial exploitation of science and technology, and R&D;

·         Skills – measures of human capital;

·         Enterprise  – measures of business formation, entrepreneurship and finance; and

·         Competitive Markets – measures of openness, labour market flexibility, regulation and the institutional environment


Wherever possible, international comparisons are based on the G7 and may go beyond the G7 where data are available and where other countries have an interesting story to tell. UK time series data are used as well in order to provide context. As understanding and measurement techniques improve, it is likely that new indicators will be generated by academics, Government or other institutions that could usefully be incorporated into the UK Competitiveness Indicators.

If you have any comments on the Competitiveness Indicators you can contact

[email protected]


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Last updated on 28 October 2002