U.S. Productivity Report Deprived of Main Gauge After Shutdown

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Labor Department published fresh productivity data Wednesday, though without the main measure because of the government shutdown.

The fourth-quarter gauge of nonfarm business productivity and unit labor cost figures were delayed because they rely on gross domestic product data from the Commerce Department, which was closed and hasn’t released GDP for the period.

Wednesday’s report did include a revision for third-quarter productivity, which rose at a 2.2 percent annualized pace in the period compared with a previously reported 2.3 percent.

While Labor remained open during the shutdown, some of its reports incorporate data from other agencies. That means the nonfarm productivity measure most economists watch can’t be updated, and the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis has yet to announce a new date for the GDP report.

The productivity report did include manufacturing efficiency figures, which are derived from other data from Labor and the Federal Reserve. That measure rose 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter after an upwardly revised 1.1 percent in the prior three months, according to the report.

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