Analysts expected Q1 productivity to rise by point 0.7%. Instead, it came in at nearly half that, rising by 0.4%. This was only a slight improvement over the 0.3% increase in the final quarter of 2017.
There wasn't a whole lot of chatter about sluggish productivity in the mainstream financial press, but in his recent podcast, Peter Schiff pointed out that it could have significant ramifications for the economy – and on your pocketbook. If you're counting on productivity to keep a lid on consumer prices, you have a big problem.
"That is the only way to keep prices from rising when you're creating all of this money is to have an increase in productivity."