Critical government reports on the nation’s productivity growth appear to have the same seasonal problems that CNBC uncovered in the gross domestic product data.
Looking over a 30-year period, CNBC found first-quarter productivity runs nearly a full percentage point below the average for the economy. Productivity is a measure of output per hour, or efficiency, and is a critical data series looked at by policymakers to judge economic health.
“The most important factor determining living standards is productivity growth,” Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in a speech last week. “Here the recent data have been disappointing.”