U.S. Manufacturing Productivity Increased in Second Quarter

Sept. 6, 2007

Manufacturing productivity grew slightly faster -- 1.8%, in the second quarter of 2007, according to the Department of Labor. Durable good manufacturing had a 4.7% increase while nondurable had a 1.4% decrease.

In the nonfarm private business sector, productivity increased at a 2.6% annual rate in the second quarter of 2007. This was significantly higher than the 0.7% increase recorded in the first quarter.

Hourly compensation increased 4.1% in first quarter, and unit labor costs, which factors in higher wages and higher productivity, rose 1%.

"U.S. companies continue to bang out new products and more efficient methods for making goods and services. In the critical durable goods sector, which builds out many of the breakthroughs in information technology,productivity was up as well. In addition, biotechnology is driving profit growth in the agribusinesses, like Monsanto," said Peter Morici, professor at the University of Maryland School of Business and former Chief Economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission.

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