MarketWatch — U.S. businesses did not produce goods and services as efficiently at the tail end of 2012, the Labor Department said Thursday. Workers put in more time but companies barely increased their output.
Productivity fell at a 2.0% annual rate in the October-to-December period, according to the agency’s preliminary assessment. The decline — the sharpest in almost two years — partly reverses a revised 3.2% gain in the third quarter.
Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected productivity to fall 1.5%, largely because growth in the fourth quarter contracted and hours spent on the job increased.
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