U.S. non-farm unit labor costs fell at a 2.0% annual rate in the third quarter compared to the preliminary estimate of a 0.2% decline, while productivity growth accelerated at a stronger-than-expected 6.3% annual rate compared to a 4.9% preliminary measure, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported yesterday. Productivity growth in the third quarter was the strongest since the third quarter of 2003, when it was up 10.4%. Unit labor costs’ decline was the largest since the third quarter of 2003.IFR Markets predicted 5.7% growth for productivity and a 1.1% drop in unit labor costs.

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