News Summary: US productivity rose in 1Q

News Summary: US productivity grew at modest annual rate of 0.5 percent in first quarter

Associated Press
News Summary: US productivity rose in 1Q
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FILE - In this April 10, 2013 file photo, Gregory Pierre assembles wristwatch mechanisms at the Shinola manufacturing facility in Detroit. U.S. worker productivity grew a modest amount from January through March after having declined in the previous quarter, the Labor Department said, Wednesday, June 5, 2013. Weak productivity growth could boost hiring if consumers and businesses spend more. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

BUSY BEES: U.S. worker productivity grew at a revised 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted rate from January through March after having declined 1.7 percent in the previous quarter, the Labor Department said.

REVISION: But the gain was revised down slightly from an initial estimate of a 0.7 percent rise. The revision reflected a lower government estimate of overall economic output in the first quarter. Productivity is the amount of output per hour of work.

THE TAKEAWAY: Labor costs fell in the January to March quarter, dropping at an annual rate of 4.3 percent after having surged at an 11.8 percent rate in the fourth quarter. With lower productivity growth, companies might have to add workers if demand for their products continue to grow.

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