Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Productivity and Costs
Nonfarm business sector productivity—real output per hour of all persons—declined at an annualized rate of 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 2012, meeting expectations. After the fourth quarter’s upwardly revised 1.2 percent growth, productivity is up 0.5 percent over the past four quarters. The quarterly decline came as growth in hours worked outpaced the growth in output. Hours worked grew by 3.2 percent, its highest reading in nearly two years and a full percentage point above its year-over-year growth rate. Output grew 2.7 percent in the first quarter. Hourly compensation cooled from the second half of 2011, growing 1.5 percent. After adjusting for price changes, real hourly compensation declined 0.9 percent. The initial estimate for first-quarter unit labor costs was 2.0 percent, keeping pace with the four-quarter growth rate of 2.1 percent.