LONDON Oct 6 British finance minister Philip
Hammond said on Thursday that he would focus on increasing the
country's economic output by improving productivity, but that
overall growth could slow as Britain barred most low-skilled
European Union migrants.
"What we need to drive is a growth in GDP per capita. We
need to see our economic expansion coming from an improvement in
productivity, not simply from bringing ever larger numbers of
low skilled people into the economy," Hammond said in an
interview with Bloomberg TV in New York.
Economic data earlier on Thursday showed British
productivity continued to lag other countries after several
years in which growth has been driven by a growing workforce,
which includes higher numbers of EU migrants.
Hammond also said Britain's government was looking at the
costs and benefits of remaining in a customs union with the EU,
as being outside would have "frictional costs" for manufacturers
such as carmakers.
(Reporting by William Schomberg, writing by David Milliken,
editing by Estelle Shirbon)