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U.S. Productivity Rises As Manufacturing Slows

Nonfarm productivity in the U.S. grew by an annualized 2.3% in the second quarter compared with a 3.5% gain in January-March, the U.S. Dept. of Labor reports.

 

Nonfarm productivity in the U.S. grew by an annualized 2.3% in the second quarter compared with a 3.5% gain in January-March, the U.S. Dept. of Labor reports.

Growth in April-June was partly muted by a 2.2% annualized productivity decline for the manufacturing sector. The sector’s productivity also fell—by 1.8%—in the first quarter.

The department notes that this is the first time since 2009 when both output and hours worked declined for manufacturing over two consecutive quarters. Productivity in the durable manufacturing portion of the sector contracted by 0.6% in the second quarter.

Analysts note that the manufacturers have been hurt by the U.S.-China trade war. Yesterday the Institute for Supply Management reported that its purchasing manager’s index for August slid into negative growth territory.

The institute blames the decline on a “notable” drop in business confidence, mainly over trade worries.

 

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