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US productivity fastest in two years, labour costs subdued

Published on Dec 5, 2012 10:15 PM
 
Shipping containers are stack beside idle cranes December 4, 2012 at the Port of Los Angeles in southern California as a strike by port clerical workers enters its second week. US non-farm productivity increased at a much faster clip than initially thought in the third quarter. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US non-farm productivity increased at a much faster clip than initially thought in the third quarter.

Businesses held the line on hiring even as output surged, with unit labour costs falling at their fastest pace in almost a year.

Productivity increased at a 2.9 per cent annual rate, the fastest since the third quarter of 2010, the Labor Department said on Wednesday.

It had previously estimated that productivity, which measures hourly output per worker, rose at a 1.9 per cent pace in the third quarter. In the second quarter, productivity had increased at a 1.9 per cent rate.

 
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