U.S. Factory Productivity Growth Slows Slightly

From April through June of this year, productivity in the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.1% one-tenth of a percentage point less than the first quarter's 4.2% rate, the U.S. Labor Department reported on Aug. 9.

The department measures productivity as output per working hour.

Output of U.S. factories during the second quarter grew 1.2%, the smallest quarterly increase in two years, while hours worked in manufacturing declined at a 2.8% rate.

Second-quarter 2005 productivity growth in the larger U.S. non-farm business economy was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.2%, roughly half the rate of increase in manufacturing.

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