2017 Economic Calendar
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Productivity and Costs  
Released On 3/8/2017 8:30:00 AM For Q4(r):2016
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Nonfarm productivity - Q/Q change - SAAR1.3 %1.4 %0.8 % to 1.7 %1.3 %
Unit labor costs - Q/Q change - SAAR1.7 %1.6 %1.4 % to 1.9 %1.7 %

Productivity held at a 1.3 percent annualized rate and below unit labor costs at 1.7 percent in the second estimate for the fourth quarter. Output growth slowed sharply in the quarter to a 2.4 percent rate from 4.2 percent while hours worked, instead of falling, rose 1.0 percent. But compensation did slow, to a 3.0 percent rate of growth from 4.1 percent. Taking more hours to produce at a slower rate is not a healthy, sustainable economic mix. Today's data include benchmark revisions.

Consensus Outlook
It took more hours to produce goods and services at a slower rate during the fourth quarter, based on the first estimate for nonfarm productivity and costs and there is little change expected for the second estimate. And weak productivity, where the consensus for the second estimate is an annualized rate of only 1.4 percent, points to pressure for unit labor costs which are expected to come in at a 1.6 percent rate.

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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