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According to recent data, American businesses and workers experienced a notable rise in productivity during the fourth quarter, clocking in at a 2.7% growth compared to the previous year. This development suggests that the U.S. economy might exceed growth expectations, even amidst a slowdown in inflation.
The fourth quarter saw productivity surge by 3.3%, following an impressive 4.9% increase in the third quarter.
Why Does Productivity Matter?
Productivity serves as the secret sauce for any thriving economy. As it climbs, businesses enjoy larger profits, and workers receive higher wages. Furthermore, increased productivity contributes to curbing inflation, a welcome benefit for all.
However, it is premature to determine whether this recent surge in productivity is sustainable. Before the pandemic hit, productivity growth had been sluggish for years, showing little signs of improvement.
Some economists argue that the advent of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, may possibly boost productivity in the years to come.
The Overall Outlook
Significant improvements in productivity can be challenging to measure and may take time to manifest as discernible trends. Nevertheless, the latest indications are undeniably promising.
In response to this positive development, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 (SPX) are expected to open on a high note in Thursday’s trading session.