PHILADELPHIA—Nationally syndicated host and biblical investing authority Dan Celia said today that very strong first-quarter productivity is the best number of the week, even with a slew of other positive economic reports.
“I said earlier in the week that one of the most important numbers we will see this week will be productivity,” Celia said. “Of course, productivity is always an important number. Many were expecting about 2.4% on productivity. That would have been a very good number. At last look, it was 1.9% for the first quarter, so going up to 2.4% would have been great. Instead we got to 3.65% in productivity! We do not, cannot, will not ever have GDP growth without productivity. This is not the Obama administration, when we had no productivity, no GDP growth or, if we had good GDP growth, we didn’t have a correlating productivity number. Productivity continues to be strong, and it will remain one of the best numbers of the week even though we’ve had amazing numbers this week.”
CNBC reported that the 3.6% increase in productivity was the fastest pace in more than four years.
“Consumer confidence also went up to 129.2, personal income was up, and consumer spending was up,” Celia added. “There was a bit of concern about first-quarter unit labor costs because the first look was 2%. They were expecting this look to be revised downward to 1.3%; that would have been good. But we got instead a number revised downward to a 0.9%. Unit labor costs are coming into check, and it doesn’t look like all the great wage increases we have seen are having much of an impact on the cost of doing business for many companies. Again, unit labor costs continue to be a number that is not inflationary, and that’s good as we move forward.”
Celia discusses these and other global and economic headlines on his daily, three-hour “Financial Issues” program, heard on about 650 radio stations nationwide, as well as several television networks.
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