American productivity registers an increase

Productivity in the nation's private businesses, excluding farms, rose at a 2 .6 percent annual rate in the third quarter, a major turnaround from the previous quarter, the Labor Department said. This is the first productivity increase since the 0.8 percent gain in the fourth quarter of 1979 and largest increase in three years. The department's quarterly report shows that the main reason for the increased productivity was a 1.1 percent increase in business output in the third quarter, compared with a whopping 12.3 percent decline in the second quarter.

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