Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Productivity and Costs
Nonfarm business sector productivity—real output per hour of all persons—increased at a faster rate than originally estimated in the second quarter of 2012, growing at an annualized rate of 2.2 percent (revised up from 1.6 percent). This follows a decline of 0.5 percent in the first three months of the year, and over the last four quarters, productivity has increased 1.2 percent. The upward revision to productivity growth for the second quarter comes from both the output and hours components. The quarterly annualized percent change in output was revised up from 2.0 percent to 2.4 percent, and the change in hours was revised down from 0.4 percent to 0.1 percent, each contributing to the change in the growth rate of productivity. On a year-over-year basis, output is up 3.0 percent, while hours are up just 1.7 percent. Also during the second quarter, hourly compensation increased 3.7 percent (revised up from 3.3 percent), following an increase of 5.8 percent in the first quarter. After controlling for price changes, real hourly compensation increased 2.9 percent (revised up from 2.6 percent) following an increase of 3.3 percent in the first quarter, and is up 0.3 percent since the second quarter of 2011. This marks the first time the four quarter growth rate in real hourly compensation has been positive since the first quarter of 2011. Following an increase of 6.4 percent in the first quarter, unit labor costs increased 1.5 percent in the second quarter of 2012 (revised down slightly from 1.7 percent). Over the last year, they have increased 0.9 percent.