U.S. productivity gains exceed forecasts even as output cools

UNITED STATES nonfarm business employee output per hour increased at a 1.9 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter. / BLOOMBERG NEWS FILE PHOTO/LUKE SHARRETT
UNITED STATES nonfarm business employee output per hour increased at a 1.9 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter. / BLOOMBERG NEWS FILE PHOTO/LUKE SHARRETT
NEW YORK - Productivity gains in the United States last quarter exceeded forecasts though were little changed from the prior reading as output and hours worked both cooled, with efficiency improvements surpassing the recent average for a third period. Nonfarm business employee output per hour increased at a 1.9 percent annualized rate, according to Labor…

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