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The Economy in Perspective

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Golden eggs, golden omelets … Productivity growth is the economist’s term for situations in which an economy can obtain more output than before from the same amount of input. Productivity growth enables an economy to deliver rising standards of living to its participants, and the stronger the growth trend, the wealthier the society becomes. One of the most common estimates of productivity is real output produced per hour of labor input. By this measure, the U.S. economy has improved its ability to raise living standards over the course of this decade. When the expansion began in 1991, productivity seemed to be increasing at a trend rate just below 1% annually. As 1999 unfolds before us, productivity’s growth trend appears to be roughly double that amount and possibly even more.

Suggested citation: "The Economy in Perspective," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 99-04, pp. 01, 04.01.1999.

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