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March 5, 2008 9:00 AM, EST

Fourth-Quarter Productivity Revised Upward to 1.9%

Fourth-quarter U.S. worker productivity rose 1.9%, up from an earlier reported 1.8% figure, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

The level followed the third-quarter’s 6.3% gain. Productivity is a measure of how much an employee produces for every hour of work.

Economists had forecast a level of 1.8%, Bloomberg reported.

When worker efficiency improves at a slower pace and labor becomes more expensive, companies may raise prices in order to guard their profits, contributing to more rapid inflation.