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U.S. productivity fell in Q4, the first time since early 2016

Worker
Photo: Travis Dove / Bloomberg via Getty Images

U.S. worker productivity fell in the fourth quarter of 2017, the first drop since early 2016, reports CNBC. The Labor Department said Thursday that the hourly output per worker fell at a 0.1% annualized rate in Q4, missing the estimated 1.0% gain that economists at Reuters had forecast.

Why it matters: The drop, which economists blamed on a shortage of workers, signals that the Trump administration's goal of growing the economy at a sustained 3% rate might be harder than previously thought.