Productivity was poor last year—declining more than it has since 1974—and growth in unit labor costs was high. But the final quarter of 2022 saw significant improvements in both, and we think the worst is over for both.
If productivity continues to improve as companies increasingly solve their labor challenges with technological innovations, that should lead to lower inflation, higher real wages, and better profit margins. That’s the thesis of our “Roaring 2020s” outlook. … Also: The economy has been experiencing a rolling recession that started last year. Today, we examine rolling recessions, past and present