2014 Economic Calendar
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Productivity and Costs  
Released On 2/6/2014 8:30:00 AM For Q4(p):2013
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Nonfarm productivity - Q/Q change - SAAR3.0 %3.6 %2.6 %1.5 % to 3.8 %3.2 %
Unit labor costs - Q/Q change - SAAR-1.4 %-2.0 %-0.7 %-2.3 % to 0.3 %-1.6 %

Productivity in the fourth quarter remained healthy, posting at an annualized gain of 3.2 percent after a 3.6 percent boost the prior quarter. Analysts projected a 2.6 percent increase. Unit labor costs declined an annualized 1.6 percent, following a decrease of 2.0 percent in the third quarter. The market forecast was for a 0.7 percent dip.

The rise in productivity reflected a 4.9 percent jump in non-farm output, following a jump of 5.4 percent in the third quarter. Hours worked grew 1.7 percent in both the fourth and third quarters. Compensation eased to a 1.5 percent pace after rising 1.6 percent in the third quarter.

Year-on-year, productivity was up 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter versus up 0.5 percent in the third quarter. Year-ago unit labor costs were down 1.3 percent, compared to up 1.9 percent in the third quarter.

The recently strong productivity numbers may help explain slow job creation.

Consensus Outlook
Nonfarm business productivity for the third quarter was revised to up an annualized 3.0 percent versus the initial estimate of 1.9 percent and the second quarter gain of 1.8 percent. Unit labor costs declined a revised 1.4 percent, compared to the first estimate of minus 0.6 percent and a 0.5 percent increase the prior quarter. Year-on-year, productivity was up 0.3 percent in the third quarter versus up 0.2 percent in the second quarter. Year-ago unit labor costs were up 2.1 percent, compared to 1.6 percent in the second quarter.

Productivity measures the growth of labor efficiency in producing the economy's goods and services. Unit labor costs reflect the labor costs of producing each unit of output. Both are followed as indicators of future inflationary trends.  Why Investors Care
Nonfarm productivity growth has remained healthy during this expansion, but it has prevented employment from growing very fast and this hurt income growth to some extent. Unit labor costs tend to fall when productivity growth accelerates and then rises as productivity growth abates.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2014 Release Schedule
Released On: 2/63/65/76/48/89/411/612/3
Release For: Q4(p):2013Q4(r):2013Q1(p):2014Q1(r):2014Q2(p):2014Q2(r):2014Q3(p):2014Q3(r):2014

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