UPDATE 1-Canada labor productivity growth slows in Q4 to 0.1 pct

Fri Mar 4, 2016 8:34am EST
 
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(Adds details of release, background)

OTTAWA, March 4 (Reuters) - The labor productivity of Canadian businesses grew by just 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, down from 0.4 percent in the third quarter, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

Market analysts polled by Reuters had forecast no change in the fourth quarter. For 2015 as a whole, labor productivity for Canadian businesses slipped by 0.2 percent following year-on-year gains of 2.5 percent in 2014 and 1.3 percent in 2013.

Real gross domestic product of businesses grew by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter after rising by 0.8 percent in the third quarter.

The number of hours worked remained unchanged after rising for five quarters in a row. Overall labor costs per unit of production grew by 0.8 percent, due mainly to higher wages.

The main reasons for the year-on-year fall were declines in construction, manufacturing and real estate services.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bernadette Baum)