Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Productivity and Costs
Nonfarm business sector productivity—real output per hour of all persons—grew at an annualized rate of 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter, following a downwardly revised third-quarter estimate of 1.9 percent growth. From the fourth quarter of 2010, productivity grew 0.5 percent. Output growth accelerated in the fourth quarter to 3.6 percent, outpacing its 2.8 percent gain in the third quarter. These output gains were offset in the productivity measure by a sizable jump in hours worked, which increased by 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter, its highest rate of growth since the second quarter of 2010. Hourly compensation posted an increase for the first time since the first quarter of 2011, growing 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter. After adjusting for price changes, real hourly compensation was also back in positive territory, increasing by 1.0 percent. The decrease in productivity and increase in hourly compensation pushed unit labor costs up 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter. On a year-over-year basis, unit labor costs increased 1.3 percent.