2017 Economic Calendar
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Productivity and Costs  
Released On 9/7/2017 8:30:00 AM For Q2(r):2017
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Nonfarm productivity - Q/Q change - SAAR0.9 %1.3 %0.9 % to 1.5 %1.5 %
Unit labor costs - Q/Q change - SAAR0.6 %0.3 %0.0 % to 0.6 %0.2 %

An upgrade to output growth gave a boost to the second estimate for second-quarter productivity which came in at a 1.5 percent annualized rate vs 0.9 percent in the first estimate. Higher productivity helps limit labor costs which are revised down 4 tenths to a 0.2 percent rate.

Output rose at a very strong 4.0 percent rate in the quarter, revised up from 3.4 percent in the first estimate. Hours worked are unchanged at 2.5 percent with compensation revised 2 tenths higher to 1.8 percent. In real terms, which takes inflation into account or in this case lack of it, compensation is also revised 2 tenths higher to a 2.1 percent annualized rate.

Productivity data are volatile, evident by the marginal 0.1 percent headline rate of the first quarter. Still, the upshot for the second quarter is positive as output rose at a much faster rate that compensation. The outlook for the third quarter will turn on the strength of output which, based on indications in advance surveys, looks to be solidly positive.

Consensus Outlook
Upwardly revised 3.0 percent GDP points to an upgrade for second-quarter productivity and a downward revision for labor costs. For the second estimate of the second quarter, forecasters see nonfarm productivity rising 1.3 percent vs an initial gain of 0.9 percent and unit labor costs at plus 0.3 percent vs an initial 0.6 percent rise.

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

2017 Release Schedule
Released On: 2/23/85/46/58/99/711/212/6
Release For: Q4(p):2016Q4(r):2016Q1(p):2017Q1(r):2017Q2(p):2017Q2(r):2017Q3(p):2017Q3(r):2017

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