WASHINGTON — First quarter nonfarm productivity was revised down to a 0.4% gain, while unit labor cost growth was revised up to a 2.9% pace, the strongest in a year.

In addition to the revisions to the first quarter data, fourth quarter productivity stayed at 0.3%, but unit labor cost growth was revised up to a 2.5% rate for the quarter from a 2.1% increase previously reported, so the report overall suggests softer productivity and stronger labor cost growth over the most recent months than previously suggested.

Productivity now stands 1.3% higher than a year earlier, slightly faster than the 1.2% rate in the fourth quarter. Unit labor costs were up 1.3% year/year in the first quarter after a 1.8% year/year gain in the fourth quarter, but were still up from the year/year rates seen in early 2017.

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