Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Article excerpt

Small productivity gains in second quarter

The productivity of workers in the United States rose just modestly in the spring, extending a worrisome issue that has persisted throughout this expansion.

Productivity grew at an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the April-June quarter, slightly better than a scant 0.1 percent rate of increase in the first quarter, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. Labor costs edged up at a 0.6 percent rate in the second quarter, a sharp slowdown from a 5.4 percent growth rate in the first quarter.

Productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, has been weak throughout the economic recovery, now in its ninth year.

For 2016 overall, productivity actually declined the first fall in 34 years. Productivity last year had previously been reported as a slight increase of 0.2 percent. However, that gain evaporated as part of the government's annual benchmark data revisions. It marked the first annual decline in productivity since a 1 percent drop in 1982.

GateHouse to buy Morris newspapers * Morris Communications is selling its 11 daily newspapers and other publications in those markets to New Media Investment Group, the parent company of GateHouse Media Inc.

New Media said Wednesday it purchased Morris Publishing Group, the newspaper division of Georgia-based Morris Communications, for $120 million.

The sale includes The Augusta Chronicle, The Savannah Morning News and The Athens Banner-Herald in Georgia and daily newspapers in Florida, Texas, Kansas and Alaska. A news release said it should be finalized in October.

GateHouse Media already owns more than 130 daily newspapers, including more than 30 in Missouri and Illinois.

GE closing N.Y. plant, moving work to China * General Electric says it will close its manufacturing facility in Rochester by June 2018 and move the work to China.

Boston-based GE didn't say how many people work at the facility, but GE officials say fewer than 100 employees will be affected. …

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