The Crisis in Household Finances

The crisis in household finances: total hours worked and real compensation per hour both declined in Q4 and yr/yr ...worse than previously reported.

The details of today’s revised BLS report on Q4 productivity and costs are again very instructive on the state of the economy.

According to the BLS, total non-farm output in 2007-Q4 grew by even less than the BLS had estimated last month; 0.27% annualized growth rather than their earlier estimate of 0.35%. It is important to note this small downward revision to the original estimate of virtual stagnant output because the headline (and virtually only media “reporting”) is that non-farm productivity growth was revised slightly upward from the initial 1.82% annualized rate to 1.85%.