FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - Non farm productivity has increased above expectations in the fourth quarter, although well below the growing pace posted in the previous quarter, according to data released by the US Labor Department.

In the fourth quarter productivity has increased at a 1.8% pace in the United States, with output growing 0.4%, and hours decreasing 0.5.

The 1.8% increase is well above the 1.0% growing expectations advanced by market analysts, but sharply below the 6.3% increase posted in the third quarter. For the whole 2007 year, non-farm productivity has increased 1.6% from 2006.

Productivity rose 0.6% in the quarter in the business sector, and it went 2.5% up in the fourth quarter, in the year, output per hour average in the manufacturing session has risen 2.9%