Recent Updates

  • China: GDP (Q4)
  • Taiwan: Approved Foreign Investment (Dec)
  • Korea: GDP, Contribution to Growth in Real GDP (Q4), PPI (Dec)
  • New Zealand: Performance of Service Index, Composite PMI (Dec)
  • Canada: Investment in Building Construction (Nov)
  • Canada Regional: Investment in Building Construction by Province (Nov)
  • Croatia: Core CPI (Dec)
  • Tajikistan: Monetary Aggregates (Dec)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Productivity Growth Revised Little, Unit Labor Costs Revised Up
by Tom Moeller March 5, 2008

Nonfarm labor productivity growth during 4Q07 was revised little, to 1.9% growth from 1.8% reported initially. The figure still is a marked slowdown from the 3Q figure of 6.3% during 3Q07 which was revised up slightly. Consensus expectations had been for no revision to 4Q growth.

Growth in output last quarter was little changed at 0.3% and still down sharply from 5.6% during 3Q. A 1.6% decline in hours worked is what pulled productivity up and it was the sharpest q/q decline since 2001.

Compensation per hour last quarter was revised up to a 4.6% growth rate. Compensation growth for the year accelerated to a 4.9% rate of growth which was the quickest since 2000.

The upward revision to compensation raised the estimate of unit labor cost growth to 2.6% from 2.1%, and from the revised 3Q decline of 2.7%. The Consensus expectation had been for unit cost growth to be left unchanged at 2.1%. The 4Q rise was again enough to lift the gain in labor costs for the full year by 3.1%, the quickest since 2000.

Productivity in the factory sector eased to a little revised 2.3% rate of growth from 4.1% during 3Q. For all of 2007 factory sector productivity rose 3.7% versus 4.3% during 2006. Unit labor costs rose 2.1% after declines during the prior two quarters. For the full year unit labor costs in the factory sector rose 1.6% after two years of negative growth.

Condition of the U.S. Banking System is yesterday's Senate testimony by Fed Vice ChairmanDonald L. Kohn and it can be found here.

Non-farm Business Sector (SAAR, %) Q4 '07 (Revised) Q4 '07 Q3 '07 Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Output per Hour 1.9 1.8 6.3 2.9 1.8 1.0 1.9
Compensation per Hour 4.6 3.9 3.4 3.9 4.9 3.9 4.0
Unit Labor Costs 2.6 2.1 -2.7 0.9 3.1 2.9 2.0
large image