Luigi Federico Signorini: Welcome address at the Annual Conference of the global forum on productivity

Welcome address by Mr Luigi Federico Signorini, Senior Deputy Governor of the Bank of Italy, at the Annual Conference of the global forum on productivity co-organised by the Italian G20 Presidency, 8 July 2021.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
09 July 2021

Ladies and gentlemen,

· I am happy to welcome you to this conference, promoted by the OECD Global Forum on Productivity and the Italian G20 presidency. I am sure today's contributions will increase our understanding of productivity growth and distribution, especially in light of the changes brought about by the pandemic.

· Productivity gaps are ubiquitous. There are always substantial differences across firms in terms of both productivity levels and dynamics. The most innovative firms can sometimes realise enormous efficiency gains in a short period. Significant gaps exist even within narrowly defined sectors in almost all advanced economies.

· Italy is no exception: over the last 20 years, firms in the top decile of productivity distribution have accounted for roughly 50 per cent of Total Factor Productivity growth in manufacturing, and for more than 80 per cent in services.

· Productivity dynamics (and differentials) may even be underestimated in many industries, because measuring output in physical or constant price terms is often challenging in view of continuous quality improvements that are not fully accounted for by market prices.