WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – The productivity of U.S. workers increased at a 3.4% annual pace in the first quarter, a few ticks below the government’s initial estimate. Previously productivity was estimated to have risen 3.6%. The revised gain is still the biggest since 2014. The yearly pace of productivity growth was unchanged at 2.4%, which marked a nine-year high. The increase in output in the first quarter was lowered to 3.9% from 4.1%. The rise in hours worked was unchanged at 0.5%. And unit-labor costs were revised to reflect a sharper 1.6% decline from an initial 0.9% drop, a sign that labor-fueled inflation poses little threat to most businesses.
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