Parliament: More industry-specific measures of productivity being used

SINGAPORE - Different measures of productivity are increasingly being used to give a more complete picture of how each sector in Singapore is performing, said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Lee Yi Shyan.

He said the Government is seeking to expand the definition of productivity - typically measured in terms of value-add per worker - by looking at indicators peculiar to each industry.

For instance, the construction sector, where productivity growth is lagging by the standard measure, has been making progress on square metres constructed per man day, said Mr Lee in Parliament on Monday.

"If this increase is not reflected in the prices of their contracts, the net effect may be a reduction in productivity," he added.

For the retail industry, possible industry-specific productivity measures include sales per square foot of retail space.

Mr Lee was responding to a question from Ms Foo Mee Har (West Coast GRC), who had asked if finer measurements of productivity are needed to confirm that Singapore's productivity push is on the right track, given that overall numbers do not seem to reflect the progress made since Singapore's economic restructuring efforts began in 2010.

Mr Lee also said that the Government is working with various trade associations on productivity-boosting efforts tailored to the specific needs of each sector.