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US productivity flat in first quarter

Jun 05 2017 16:41

Washington - The productivity of American workers was flat in the first three months of this year, while labour costs rose at the fastest pace since the second quarter of last year.

The Labour Department said productivity growth was zero in the January-March quarter after rising at a 1.8% annual rate in the fourth quarter. It was the weakest performance since productivity had fallen at a 0.1% rate in the second quarter of last year but an improvement from an initial reading of a 0.6% decline.

Labor costs rose at a 2.2% rate after having fallen at a 4.6% rate in the fourth quarter. It was the fastest gain since April-June of last year.

Productivity growth has been weak through most of the current recovery.

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