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September 07, 2005
Productivity Growth Loses Some Momentum

Productivity grew at a 1.8 percent annual rate in the second quarter of 2005, reflecting increases of 4.1 percent in output and 2.2 percent in hours of all persons, according to revised figures from the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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The productivity figure was revised down from 2.2 percent from an August report.

The second quarter increase was one of the smaller increases posted in since the business-cycle peak in the first quarter of 2001; productivity growth over the period has risen at an average annual rate of 3.5 percent.

Hourly compensation rose 4.4 percent in the second quarter of 2005, following a 5.5 percent advance in the first quarter. When the rise in consumer prices was taken into account, real hourly compensation edged up 0.2 percent in the second quarter of 2005.

Unit labor costs increased 2.5 percent in the second quarter of 2005, somewhat more than the 2.2-percent increase posted in the first quarter of the year.

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