Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Productivity and Costs
Nonfarm business sector productivity— real output per hour of all persons— was slightly revised from the preliminary estimate, decreasing at an annualized rate of 1.9 percent (revised from a 2.0 percent decline). This follows increases of 1.7 and 3.1 percent in the second and third quarters, and productivity has increased 0.5 percent over the past year, similar to the 0.4 percent improvement in 2011. Output increased 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter (revised up from 0.1 percent), while hours increased 2.5 percent (revised up from 2.2 percent), causing the overall decline in productivity. In nominal terms, hourly compensation increased 2.6 percent during the quarter. However, after controlling for price changes, real hourly compensation increased just 0.4 percent (revised up from 0.3 percent). Real compensation increased 0.2 percent in the second quarter and fell 0.9 percent in the third quarter, and on a year-over-year basis, is up 0.8 percent. Unit labor costs, which are measured as hourly compensation per hourly output, increased 4.6 percent during the fourth quarter (revised up from 4.5 percent), following declines of 0.5 and 1.9 percent in the second and third quarter, respectively, and are up 2.1 percent since the fourth quarter of 2011.