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04.02.2016 14:06

Productivity in the U.S. non-farm businesses slides at a 3.0% annual rate in the fourth quarter

The U.S. Labor Department released non-farm productivity figures on Thursday. Preliminary productivity in the U.S. non-farm businesses slid at a 3.0% annual rate in the fourth quarter, missing expectations for a 1.8% decrease, after a 2.1% increase in the third quarter. It was the biggest drop since the first quarter of 2014.

The third quarter's figure was revised down from a 2.2% gain.

The drop was driven by a rise in labour-related production costs.

Hours worked jumped by 3.3% in the fourth quarter, while output rose by 0.1%.

In 2015 as whole, productivity rose 0.6%, the weakest rise since 2013, after a 0.7% increase in 2014.

Preliminary unit labour costs increased 4.5% in the fourth quarter, exceeding expectations for a 3.9% rise, after a 1.9 gain in the third quarter. The third quarter's figure was revised up from a 1.8% increase.

In 2015 as whole, labour costs climbed 2.4, the largest increase since 2007, after a 2.0% gain.

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