2018 Economic Calendar
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Productivity and Costs  
Released On 5/3/2018 8:30:00 AM For Q1(p):18
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Nonfarm productivity - Q/Q change - SAAR0.0 %0.3 %0.9 %0.2 % to 1.3 %0.7 %
Unit labor costs - Q/Q change - SAAR2.5 %2.1 %3.0 %1.3 % to 3.7 %2.7 %

Productivity was once again soft, up at an annualized rate of 0.7 percent in the first quarter with labor costs well ahead at a 2.7 percent rate. Output slowed in the quarter, to a 2.8 percent rate of growth from 3.7 percent in the fourth quarter, but hours worked also declined, to 2.1 from 3.3 percent. Compensation rose in the quarter to a 3.4 from 2.4 percent rate with inflation-adjusted compensation, however, still in the negative column at minus 0.1 vs the fourth-quarter's minus 0.8 percent rate. A vital sign for the economy, productivity has been modest at best through the length of the ongoing expansion.

Consensus Outlook
Production rose modestly in the first quarter which is expected to limit nonfarm productivity to only a 0.9 percent annualized rate. Limited production gains point to a swelling in unit labor costs where the consensus is looking for a 3.0 percent increase.

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

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 2/13/75/36/68/159/611/112/5
Release For: Q4(p):17Q4(r):17Q1(p):18Q1(r):18Q2(p):18Q2(r):18Q3(p):18Q3(r):18

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