There is a myriad of reasons behind the weak development of late: ballooning debt, antiquated labor markets, a lack of competitiveness, to name but a few. Their significance also varies from country to country. Almost all countries, however, have one thing in common; productivity growth is very weak.
This development is deeply alarming. After all, in the medium to long term, productivity growth is the main factor driving general economic growth. This applies all the more so if we consider that, in the not-too-distant future, one of the key growth engines that drove the world's advanced economies in the past, a growing working population, will turn into exactly the opposite. Without productivity growth, the European countries, in particular, will see their economic strength dwindle. If this happens, it will be virtually impossible to master the challenges that the future has in store, from the costs associated with an aging society to the costs of the energy transition. In a nutshell: without productivity growth we will be unable to maintain the level of prosperity we have become accustomed to.