March 7, 2018 / 1:39 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Canada labor productivity rises in fourth quarter

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OTTAWA, March 7 (Reuters) - The labor productivity of Canadian businesses rose by 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter as an increase in business output outpaced a slowdown in hours worked, data from Statistics Canada showed on Wednesday.

The number of hours in the business sector increased by 0.2 percent, cooling after strong gains in the previous two quarters, as growth slowed in most major industry sectors.

Real gross domestic product of businesses rose 0.4 percent with gains widespread in all goods and services-producing businesses.

Labor costs per unit of production climbed 1.5 percent, making for the largest quarterly growth rate since the first quarter of 2015. The increase was largely due to higher average hourly wages.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr Editing by Bernadette Baum

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