US Worker Productivity Reached 3-Year High in Q2
US worker productivity accelerated to more than 3-year high in the second quarter, but the trend in productivity growth remained moderate. The US Labor Department reported, that nonfarm productivity, which measures hourly output per worker, increased at an unrevised 2.9% annualized rate in the second quarter. Economists had forecast second-quarter productivity being raised to a 3.0% rate.
Compared to the second quarter of 2017, productivity increased at an unrevised rate of 1.3%. Productivity grew at a 0.3% rate in the first quarter. Also, productivity rose at an average rate of 1.3% between 2007 and 2017, slower than the 2.7% average pace between 2000 and 2007.
Unit labor costs, the price of labor per single unit of output, fell by 1.0% in the second quarter (the weakest pace since the third quarter of 2014), after it rose by 3.4% in the first quarter. Labor costs increased at an unrevised 1.9% rate compared to the second quarter of 2017, pointing to moderate wage inflation.