- Japan: First Ten Days Trade (Mar), International Trade, Foreign Banks Foreign Banks in Japan (Feb)
- New Zealand: Tourism Expenditure, International Reserves, RBNZ Analytical Accounts/Statistical Balance Sheet, Foreign Currency Assets, Liabilities, and Currency Flows (Feb); Australia: Flow of Funds (Q4), Job Vacancies (Q1)
- Korea: Building Permits (Feb); Philippines: LFS (Q3)
- US: IIP (Q4)
- more updates...
Economy in Brief
U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Remain Little Changed; Variable Rate Apps Surge
The MBA total Mortgage Market Volume Index slipped 0.8% last week (-12.4% y/y)...
La Dolce Vita? Italian Confidence Bumps Higher
Italian business and consumer confidence moved higher in March...
U.S. Consumer Confidence Improves Significantly
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index for March strengthened 8.2% (30.7% y/y) to 125.6...
U.S. Energy Product Prices Remain Under Pressure
Regular gasoline prices held steady at $2.32 per gallon last week (12.1% y/y) for the third straight week...
German Federal Debt Levels Fall
German debt level fell outright in Q4 2016 as the ratio of federal debt-to-GDP also fell...
NABE 2018 Forecast: Modest Improvement in Economic Growth & Higher Inflation
The NABE expects 2.5% real U.S. economic growth in 2018 compared to 2.3% forecast for 2017...
by Tom Moeller February 4, 2016
Nonfarm output per hour declined 3.0% at an annual rate (+0.3% y/y) during Q4'15 following a 2.1% Q3 increase. A 1.8% decline had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. It was the third decline in the last five quarters and left growth during all of last year at 0.6%, roughly the same as in 2014. The decline occurred as output nudged 0.1% higher (1.9% y/y) while hours worked gained 3.3% (1.5% y/y). Compensation grew 1.3% and 3.0% for the full year, up from 1.1% in 2013. Weakness in productivity and strength in compensation combined to raise unit labor costs 4.5% (2.8% y/y), the quickest growth in a year. During all of 2015, unit labor cost growth of 2.4% was the strongest since 2007.
In the manufacturing sector, the story was much the same. Productivity eased 0.4% last quarter (+1.5% y/y). For the full year, productivity growth was steady at 1.3%. Output edged 0.5% higher in Q4 (1.1% y/y) and hours worked grew 0.9% (-0.4% y/y). Compensation growth weakened, however, to 3.2% versus much stronger growth in the earlier two quarters. The combination of weaker productivity and moderate compensation growth raised unit labor costs by 3.6%, the fastest rise in a year. For the full year, growth in unit labor costs was steady at 1.3%.
The productivity & cost figures are available in Haver's USECON database. The expectations figures are from the Action Economics Forecast Survey and are found in the AS1REPNA database.
|Productivity & Costs (SAAR, %)||Q4'15||Q3'15||Q2'15||Q4 Y/Y||2015||2014||2013|
|Nonfarm Business Sector|
|Output per Hour (Productivity)||-3.0||2.1||3.5||0.3||0.6||0.7||0.0|
|Compensation per Hour||1.3||4.1||5.6||3.1||3.0||2.7||1.1|
|Unit Labor Costs||4.5||1.9||2.0||2.8||2.4||2.0||1.1|
|Output per Hour (Productivity)||-0.4||5.0||2.2||1.5||1.3||1.3||0.7|
|Compensation per Hour||3.2||7.4||5.5||3.4||2.6||2.7||0.2|
|Unit Labor Costs||3.6||2.3||3.2||1.9||1.3||1.4||-0.5|