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U.S. Q1 Productivity Rises 0.7%

Productivity in the U.S. rose in the first three months of the year, but the rebound may be too small to create any long-term change, according to a Conference Board response to a report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics,.

According to new findings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, labor productivity has grown an annualized 0.7% within the first quarter of 2013. This growth comes after a 1.7% decline in Q4 of 2012, but is a far cry from the country's average long-term growth of between 2% and 2.5%.

Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 1.8% increase in overall hours worked, and a 2.5% increase in production output. Comparing Q1 2013 to the year-ago quarter, productivity increased 0.9% as output and hours worked increased 2.5% and 1.5%, respectively.

The Conference Board, which identifies itself as a "global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest," had a subdued reaction to the latest number.

"This small productivity dividend will do little to keep stock prices near their current highs or positively impact profit outlooks. It also does not provide much incentive to businesses and investors to green light some new investment projects. Those are critical ingredients in sustaining output growth down the road," said the Board in its statement.


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