2013 Economic Calendar
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Productivity and Costs  
Released On 12/16/2013 8:30:00 AM For Q3(r):2013
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Nonfarm productivity - Q/Q change - SAAR1.9 %2.9 %2.2 % to 3.2 %3.0 %
Unit labor costs - Q/Q change - SAAR-0.6 %-1.4 %-1.6 % to 0.0 %-1.4 %

Highlights
As expected, much of the same new data that led to an upward revision to third quarter GDP led to an upward revision in third quarter productivity and a downward revision to unit labor costs. 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. Analysts expected a 2.9 percent rise. 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. The median market forecast was for a1.4 percent decrease. Compensation rose an annualized 1.6 percent, following a jump of 3.8 percent in the second 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.

Again, productivity and unit labor cost data reflect slow hiring relative to output growth. This suggests less urgency for the Fed to taper.

Recent History Of This Indicator
Nonfarm business productivity for the third quarter gained 1.9 percent, following a 1.8 percent increase the prior quarter. Unit labor costs dipped an annualized 0.6 percent after a 0.5 percent increase the prior quarter. Based on the upward revision to third quarter GDP to 3.6 percent from the initial estimate of 2.8 percent, there likely will be a notable upward revision to productivity and downward revision to unit labor costs.

Definition
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
 
[Chart]
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
 
 

2013 Release Schedule
Released On: 2/73/75/26/58/169/511/1412/16
Release For: Q4(p):Q4(r):Q1(p):2013Q1(r):2013Q2(p):2013Q2(r):2013Q3(p):2013Q3(r):2013
 


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