U.S. productivity between January and March managed to fall short of estimates made by the Department of Labor, growing at an annual rate of just 0.4%, the department reported on Wednesday.
January-March productivity was initially estimated to have gained 0.7% in April, but fell short amid increasing labor costs, which rose 2.9%, more than the Department of Labor’s initial estimate of 2.7%.
Productivity, also known as output per hour, is calculated by dividing real output by hours worked by employees, proprietors and unpaid family workers. It is primarily used in determining the growth rate of the economy, as well as the how much living standards can increase. Throughout 2017, productivity increased by just 1.3%, evidence of the nation’s slow economic recovery, according to the Associated Press.
Slow productivity may also make it difficult for President Donald Trump to reach his goal of growing the nation’s GDP by a rate of 3% annually through 2020, a figure that he promised to achieve in 2017.