Canada productivity data disappoints in second quarter

Fri Sep 7, 2012 8:40am EDT
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian labor productivity was weaker than expected in the second quarter, falling 0.4 percent in the first decline in a year and contrasting with the United States' 0.6 percent boost to productivity in the same period.

Statistics Canada said on Friday the decline in productivity was due to a 0.9 percent increase in the number of hours worked in the business sector while the rate of growth was unchanged from the previous two quarters at 0.5 percent.

Statscan revised the first-quarter productivity performance to flat from a 0.1 percent gain previously.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast a 0.2 percent decline in the second quarter.

Both the goods-producing sectors and the services sector registered declines in productivity in the quarter, Statscan said.

(Reporting by Louise Egan and Randall Palmer; Editing by James Dalgleish)