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U.S. Economic Productivity Improves, Labor Cost Remains Contained

Economics / US Economy Nov 04, 2011 - 01:05 AM GMT

By: Asha_Bangalore

Economics

Productivity of the U.S. economy rose 3.1% in the third quarter, after posting decline in the first-half of the year. The downside of the improvement in productivity in the present environment is that it prevents firms from increasing payrolls.


Unit labor cost dropped 2.4% in the third quarter compared with gains in the first six months of the year. The recent trend of unit labor cost suggests that labor cost pressures are absent (see Chart 2) and do not present a threat of inflation. This is a source of comfort as it allows the Fed to focus on economic growth in the formulation of monetary policy.


Asha Bangalore — Senior Vice President and Economist

http://www.northerntrust.com

Asha Bangalore is Vice President and Economist at The Northern Trust Company, Chicago. Prior to joining the bank in 1994, she was Consultant to savings and loan institutions and commercial banks at Financial & Economic Strategies Corporation, Chicago.

Copyright © 2011 Asha Bangalore

The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of The Northern Trust Company. The Northern Trust Company does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of information contained herein, such information is subject to change and is not intended to influence your investment decisions.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


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