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U.S. productivity down but output up

U.S. Productivity Economic Indicators



Productivity cool down in the first-quarter again after dipping in the last quarter, despite growing output.In the first-quarter the productivity of U.S. businesses sunk by -0.8 % on the seasonally adjusted basis. Productivity shows the changes from period to period in the amount of goods and services produced per hour. Higher productivity in manufacturing of durable goods means incresed output of durable goods with the same labor time involved in its production.

Output
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Output has increased on the same pace like in previous quarter, business production jumped by 3.1 % on the seasonally adjusted basis, led by increases in nonfarm business, durable goods manufacturing and in total manufacturing.




Compensation
Real hourly compensation has declined by smaller rate than a quarter ago. Economists warn that consumers cannot continue to spend at their current rates unless incomes rise and the unemployment rate declines, the real hourly compensation decreased by -2 % on the seasonally adjusted basis.
The measure includes accrued inflation-adjusted wages and salaries, supplements, employer contributions to employee benefit plans, and taxes. From a year ago, real hourly compensation deteriorated by -2 %.



Business labor costs continued to grew by higher rate, the labor costs grew by 2.5 % on the seasonally adjusted basis.

Increases in hourly compensation, lead to increase in unit labor costs U.S. labor costs advanced by 1.8 % for the year.
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Category
U.S. productivity rose by 0.8 % over the past 12 months, driven by the increase in output.U.S. business production jumped by 3 % for the year


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Productivity
(Y / Y in %)

I Quarter
2018
prel.
IV Quarter
2017
prel.
III Quarter
2017
prel.
II Quarter
2017
prel.
I Quarter
2017
prel.
IV Quarter
2016
rest.
Total Business
0.8 % 0.8 % 1.5 % 1.3 % 1 % 2 %
Nonfarm business
1.1 % 1.1 % 1.5 % 1.3 % 1.1 % 1.3 %
Manufacturing
1.1 % 1.1 % 0.3 % 1.1 % 0.3 % 2 %
Durable Goods
1.8 % 1.4 % 0.3 % 1.3 % 0.8 % 1.5 %
Nondurable Goods
0.1 % 0.5 % 0.2 % 0.8 % -0.4 % 2.7 %



Productivity
These productivity measures describe the relationship between real output and the labor time involved in its production. They show the changes from period to period in the amount of goods and services produced per hour. Although these measures relate output to hours at work of all persons engaged in a sector, they do not measure the specific contribution of labor, capital, or any other factor of production. Rather, they reflect the joint effects of many influences, including changes in technology; capital investment; level of output; utilization of capacity, energy, and materials; the organization of production; managerial skill; and the characteristics and effort of the work force.



Productivity
(Q / Q in %)

I Quarter
2018
prel.
IV Quarter
2017
prel.
III Quarter
2017
prel.
II Quarter
2017
prel.
I Quarter
2017
prel.
IV Quarter
2016
rest.
Total Business
-0.8 % -0.9 % 3.6 % 1.3 % -1.5 % 2.4 %
Nonfarm business
- % -0.1 % 3 % 1.5 % -0.6 % 1.8 %
Manufacturing
6 % 5.7 % -4.4 % 2.9 % 0.4 % 2 %
Durable Goods
8.1 % 6.7 % -4.7 % 3.8 % -1.1 % 1.8 %
Nondurable Goods
3.4 % 4.5 % -4.4 % 0.5 % 3.2 % 2.3 %



Output
(Y / Y in %)

I Quarter
2018
prel.
IV Quarter
2017
prel.
III Quarter
2017
prel.
II Quarter
2017
prel.
I Quarter
2017
prel.
IV Quarter
2016
rest.
Total Business
3 % 3 % 2.8 % 2.6 % 2.3 % 2.3 %
Nonfarm business
3.2 % 3.2 % 3 % 2.8 % 2.4 % 2.4 %
Manufacturing
2.5 % 2.7 % 1.5 % 1.6 % 0.9 % 1.6 %
Durable Goods
8.1 % 8.2 % -1.7 % 1 % 1.5 % 2 %
Nondurable Goods
2.3 % 2.6 % 1.6 % 1.5 % 0.3 % 1.7 %



Output
(Q / Q in %)

I Quarter
2018
prel.
IV Quarter
2017
prel.
III Quarter
2017
prel.
II Quarter
2017
prel.
I Quarter
2017
prel.
IV Quarter
2016
rest.
Total Business
3.1 % 3.1 % 4.1 % 3.7 % 0.5 % 2.6 %
Nonfarm business
3.2 % 3.2 % 4.1 % 4 % 1 % 2.7 %
Manufacturing
6.6 % 7.3 % -1.1 % 2.1 % 2.8 % 1.8 %
Durable Goods
8.1 % 8.2 % -1.7 % 1 % 2.8 % 2 %
Nondurable Goods
4.9 % 6.4 % -0.4 % 3.4 % 2.8 % 1.5 %



Unit Labor Costs
(Y / Y in %)

I Quarter
2018
prel.
IV Quarter
2017
prel.
III Quarter
2017
prel.
II Quarter
2017
prel.
I Quarter
2017
prel.
IV Quarter
2016
rest.
Total Business
1.8 % 1.5 % -0.5 % - % 2.9 % 1.9 %
Nonfarm business
1.7 % 1.3 % -0.7 % -0.2 % 2.8 % 1.7 %
Manufacturing
1.3 % 1.1 % 0.3 % 0.1 % 4.3 % 2.4 %
Durable Goods
0.7 % 1.3 % 0.6 % -0.4 % 4 % 2.6 %
Nondurable Goods
2.2 % 0.8 % -0.1 % 1.1 % 4.6 % 2 %


Unit Labor Costs
The measures of unit labor costs describe the relationship between compensation per hour and productivity, or real output per hour, and can be used as an indicator of inflationary pressure on producers. Increases in hourly compensation increase unit labor costs; labor productivity increases offset compensation increases and lower unit labor costs.


Unit Labor Costs
(Q / Q in %)

I Quarter
2018
prel.
IV Quarter
2017
prel.
III Quarter
2017
prel.
II Quarter
2017
prel.
I Quarter
2017
prel.
IV Quarter
2016
rest.
Total Business
2.5 % 2 % -0.3 % 0.5 % 3.4 % 1.5 %
Nonfarm business
2.5 % 2 % -0.2 % 0.2 % 3 % 1.3 %
Manufacturing
-3.3 % -3.7 % 4.8 % -0.4 % 2.1 % 2.2 %
Durable Goods
-5.3 % -3.8 % 5 % -0.6 % 2.5 % 2.1 %
Nondurable Goods
-0.6 % -4 % 5.1 % 1 % 1.3 % 2.3 %




Hours Worked
(Y / Y in %)

I Quarter
2018
prel.
IV Quarter
2017
prel.
III Quarter
2017
prel.
II Quarter
2017
prel.
I Quarter
2017
prel.
IV Quarter
2016
rest.
Total Business
2.2 % 2.3 % 1.3 % 1.3 % 1.2 % 0.3 %
Nonfarm business
2.1 % 2.1 % 1.5 % 1.5 % 1.3 % 1 %
Manufacturing
1.4 % 1.6 % 1.2 % 0.5 % 0.7 % -0.4 %
Durable Goods
0.9 % 1.3 % 1 % 0.3 % 0.7 % -0.1 %
Nondurable Goods
2.2 % 2.1 % 1.4 % 0.8 % 0.7 % -1 %


Hours Worked
Hours data for the labor productivity and cost measures include hours for all persons working in the sector—wage and salary workers, the self-employed and unpaid family workers.


Hours Worked
(Q / Q in %)

I Quarter
2018
prel.
IV Quarter
2017
prel.
III Quarter
2017
prel.
II Quarter
2017
prel.
I Quarter
2017
prel.
IV Quarter
2016
rest.
Total Business
4 % 4.1 % 0.5 % 2.4 % 2.1 % 0.2 %
Nonfarm business
3.3 % 3.3 % 1.1 % 2.5 % 1.6 % 1 %
Manufacturing
0.5 % 1.5 % 3.5 % -0.7 % 2.4 % -0.2 %
Durable Goods
- % 1.4 % 3.1 % -2.7 % 4 % 0.2 %
Nondurable Goods
1.5 % 1.8 % 4.1 % 2.8 % -0.4 % -0.8 %




Real Hourly Compensation
(Y / Y in %)

I Quarter
2018
prel.
IV Quarter
2017
prel.
III Quarter
2017
prel.
II Quarter
2017
prel.
I Quarter
2017
prel.
IV Quarter
2016
rest.
Total Business
-2 % -2.5 % 1.3 % 2.1 % -1.3 % 0.9 %
Nonfarm business
0.7 % 0.3 % -1.1 % -0.8 % 1.3 % -0.4 %
Manufacturing
0.3 % - % -1.3 % -0.6 % 2 % 0.9 %
Durable Goods
0.4 % 0.5 % -1 % -1 % 2.2 % 0.7 %
Nondurable Goods
0.1 % -0.8 % -1.8 % - % 1.6 % 1.3 %




Real Hourly Compensation
(Q / Q in %)

I Quarter
2018
prel.
IV Quarter
2017
prel.
III Quarter
2017
prel.
II Quarter
2017
prel.
I Quarter
2017
prel.
IV Quarter
2016
rest.
Total Business
-2 % -2.5 % 1.3 % 2.1 % -1.3 % 0.9 %
Nonfarm business
-1.2 % -1.8 % 0.7 % 2.1 % -0.8 % - %
Manufacturing
-1.2 % -1.8 % -1.8 % 2.8 % -0.6 % 1.2 %
Durable Goods
-1.3 % -1 % -1.9 % 3.5 % -1.7 % 0.9 %
Nondurable Goods
-0.9 % -3.3 % -1.5 % 1.9 % 1.4 % 1.5 %




Hourly Compensation
(Y / Y in %)

I Quarter
2018
prel.
IV Quarter
2017
prel.
III Quarter
2017
prel.
II Quarter
2017
prel.
I Quarter
2017
prel.
IV Quarter
2016
rest.
Total Business
2.5 % 1.8 % 0.2 % 2.5 % 2.5 % 4.2 %
Nonfarm business
1.7 % 1.1 % 3.3 % 1.8 % 1.8 % 4 %
Manufacturing
2.4 % 2.6 % 0.1 % 3.1 % 1.4 % 4 %
Durable Goods
2.7 % 0.3 % 0.5 % 1.6 % 4.6 % 4.6 %
Nondurable Goods
2.3 % 1.3 % 0.1 % 1.9 % - % 4.8 %


Hourly Compensation
The measure includes accrued wages and salaries, supplements, employer contributions to employee benefit plans, and taxes.


Hourly Compensation
(Q / Q in %)

I Quarter
2018
prel.
IV Quarter
2017
prel.
III Quarter
2017
prel.
II Quarter
2017
prel.
I Quarter
2017
prel.
IV Quarter
2016
rest.
Total Business
1.7 % 1.1 % 3.3 % 1.8 % 1.8 % 4 %
Nonfarm business
2.4 % 1.8 % 2.7 % 1.8 % 2.4 % 3.1 %
Manufacturing
2.5 % 1.8 % 0.2 % 2.5 % 2.5 % 4.2 %
Durable Goods
2.4 % 2.6 % 0.1 % 3.1 % 1.4 % 4 %
Nondurable Goods
2.7 % 0.3 % 0.5 % 1.6 % 4.6 % 4.6 %


Source: Department of Labor, BLS.gov


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