I’m glad to see wages and benefits rising (even in meager percentages), but without a corresponding rise in productivity we are heading towards an inflationary spiral.
Growth in worker productivity slowed sharply in the summer while wages and benefits rose at a rate that was far below a previous estimate.
Productivity, the key ingredient to rising living standards, edged up at an 0.2 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter. That was better than the zero change that was first reported, but it was below analysts’ expectation for a slightly stronger 0.5 percent increase.
The 0.2 percent growth rate for productivity followed a much stronger 1.2 percent increase in the spring and was the weakest performance since a 0.1 percent decline in productivity growth in the final three months of last year, a time when the economy was being buffeted by the effects of a string of Gulf Coast hurricanes.