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Summary Box: Productivity growth slows

PRODUCTIVITY UP: Productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, rose at an annual rate of 1.6 percent in the January-March period, a slowdown from the 2.9 percent increase in the previous three months.

PRODUCTIVITY UP: Productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, rose at an annual rate of 1.6 percent in the January-March period, a slowdown from the 2.9 percent increase in the previous three months.

LABOR COSTS: Unit labor costs rose at an annual rate of 1 percent in the first three months of the year after having fallen at a 1 percent rate in the October-December period.

OUTLOOK: Economists believe companies are reaching the limits on how much work they can squeeze from their employees and will have to hire more workers in order to boost output further.

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