§ Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment her Department has made of the overall productivity of small and medium enterprises since 1997; what the gross value added per employee was in(a) SMEs and (b) large firms in each year since 1997; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Nigel Griffiths
A measure of productivity is gross value added per employee. Data on gross value added per employee are only available on a comparable basis from 1999 onwards. The latest data available are for 2001 (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: Approximate Gross Value Added per employee1, UK, 1999 to 2001 1999 2000 2001 SMEs 31,000 32,000 34,000 Large firms 34,000 34,000 35,000 1 GVA is calculated at basic prices only. Public administration, education, health, financial intermediation and real estate have been excluded. There have been slight changes to the ABFs coverage over the period.
SBS, based on a special analysis from the ONS Annual Business Inquiry.
Between 1999 and 2001, the productivity of SMEs has increased at a faster rate than the productivity of large firms, and the gap in productivity has therefore narrowed. In 1999, SME productivity was 93 per cent. of large firms productivity. In 2000, it had risen to 94 per cent. By 2001, SMEs were 96 per cent. as productive as large firms.