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Manufacturing Productivity Climbs at 4.2% Annual Rate in 3rd Quarter

October 30, 1986|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Manufacturing productivity increased at a healthy annual rate of 4.2% over the summer, the government reported Wednesday, as U.S. industry continued a "lean and mean" campaign of holding down labor costs to compete with imports.

But the efficiency with which the rest of the economy is producing goods and services remained limp, with total non-farm business productivity rising at an annual rate of only 0.2% in the third quarter, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

Non-farm business output--everything in the economy but government, agriculture and nonprofit organizations--rose at an annual rate of 3.2% in the second quarter, compared to only a 0.6% annual increase last spring, the bureau said. But to achieve that growth, Americans had to work 3% more hours, according to preliminary figures.

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