U.S. productivity rises 2.1 percent
WASHINGTON: U.S. productivity grew at a 2.1-per-cent annualized rate in the fourth quarter, beating forecasts, a U.S. government report said on Thursday.
Experts had predicted a more modest increase of 1.5 percent, and a preliminary Labor Department report had anticipated an even lower growth rate of 0.8 percent.
Productivity rose 4 percent for all of 2004, down slightly from a 4.4 percent increase in 2003, the department said.
It also showed that labor costs slowed in the final quarter of 2004, growing by 1.3 percent compared with a 4 percent annualized rate in the previous quarter. -- DPA