This Week: Productivity, Kroger results, nonfarm payrolls
A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:
JUST A DIP?
Economists project that U.S. worker productivity declined in the final quarter of 2017.
The Labor Department is expected to report Wednesday that worker productivity fell by 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter. That would be the weakest showing in nearly two years. Productivity is the amount of output per hour of work. When it rises, it allows companies to pay their workers more without having to boost the cost of their products.
Productivity, annualized quarterly percent change, seasonally adjusted:
Q3 2016: 2.5
Q4 2016: 1.3
Q1 2017: 0.1
Q2 2017: 1.5
Q3 2017: 2.7
Q4 2017 (est.): -0.2
Kroger serves up its fiscal fourth-quarter results Thursday.
Wall Street expects the supermarket chain's earnings and revenue increased in the November-January quarter versus a year earlier. That would echo Kroger's performance in the third quarter. The company has been slashing prices to compete with Walmart, Target and other rivals.
ALL ABOUT JOBS
Recent trends in hiring and wage growth suggest U.S. employers are competing more fiercely for workers.
Wages rose at the fastest pace in more than eight years in January, while employers added a robust 200,000 jobs. Raises stemming from Republican tax cuts and minimum wage increases also likely boosted pay. Did the trends continue last month? Find out Friday, when the Labor Department reports its job and wages data for February.
Nonfarm payrolls, monthly change, seasonally adjusted:
Feb. (est.) 197,500