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Market news

4 May 2016

Productivity in the U.S. non-farm businesses slides at a 1.0% annual rate in the first quarter

The U.S. Labor Department released non-farm productivity figures on Wednesday. Preliminary productivity in the U.S. non-farm businesses slid at a 1.0% annual rate in the first quarter, beating expectations for a 1.4% decrease, after a 1.7% drop in the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter's figure was revised up from a 2.2% fall.

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

Hours worked jumped by 1.5% in the first quarter, while output rose by 0.4%.

Preliminary unit labour costs increased 4.1% in the first quarter, exceeding expectations for a 3.3% rise, after a 2.7% gain in the fourth quarter. It was the largest rise since the fourth quarter of 2014.

The fourth quarter's figure was revised down from a 3.3% increase.

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