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US labor productivity decline in Q3 revised to 0.2%

Labor productivity in the U.S. nonfarm business sector declined slightly less than initially reported in the third quarter, revised data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed.

Nonfarm business labor productivity decreased by a revised 0.2% on a quarterly basis in the third quarter as the increases in output and hours worked were revised up to 2.3% and 2.5%, respectively. Meanwhile, hourly compensation and real hourly compensation were revised down to reflect increases of 2.3% and 0.5%, respectively.

The consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday was for a 0.1% decline in nonfarm business labor productivity for the third quarter.

Labor productivity and output in the manufacturing sector were revised up to reflect increases of 0.1% and 1.3%, respectively.

Downward revisions were also reported for second-quarter nonfarm business-sector hourly compensation, real hourly compensation and unit labor costs.

Meanwhile, the quarter-over-quarter increase in nonfarm business unit labor costs in the third quarter was revised down to 2.5% from 3.6% previously. Unit labor costs in the manufacturing sector rose 3.0%, reflecting a downward revision from 3.6% recorded earlier.

Economists polled by Econoday had a consensus estimate of a 3.4% increase in third-quarter nonfarm unit labor costs.

Compared with the same quarter a year ago, third-quarter nonfarm business labor productivity advanced by an upwardly revised 1.5% while unit labor costs rose by a downwardly revised 2.2%. Manufacturing labor productivity edged down 0.1% year over year while unit labor costs in the sector rose by a downwardly revised 4.4%.