U.S. nonfarm unit productivity rose at a 4.3% annual rate in the second quarter, above expectations and a faster pace than in the previous quarter, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported yesterday.

Unit labor cost growth increased to a 4.3% pace in the second quarter from a 2.2% pace in the initial second quarter report, and from a 2.6% rate in the first quarter.

Unit labor costs were down 0.5% in the second quarter, after initial reports indicated a 1.3% rise. In the first quarter, unit labor costs rose 1.2%.

IFR Markets poll of economists expected a 3.3% rise productivity and a 0.3% drop in unit labor costs.

In the second quarter, output growth accelerated to a 3.4% gain from 0.9% in the first quarter, after being reported initially as a 1.7% rise in the second quarter, while hours worked posted a 0.8% decline compared with the 0.5% drop first reported for the quarter and a 1.7% decline in the previous quarter.

The implicit price deflator slowed to a 0.9% pace in the quarter, down from 2.1% in the first quarter, but up from the initial estimate of 0.5% growth. Real compensation fell 1.3% in the second quarter after a 0.4% slide in the first quarter.

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