Daily business briefing: Productivity slows in fourth quarter

February 6, 2014 

U.S. productivity slowed in the fourth quarter as labor costs fell. The Labor Department reports productivity grew by 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter, down slightly from a 3.6 percent growth rate in the third quarter, and labor costs fell at a 1.6 percent rate in the fourth quarter. Read more at http://www.bnd.com/business. ...

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The U.S. trade deficit increased in December to $38.7 billion in December, a 12 percent increase over November, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. U.S. exports slipped 1.8 percent to $191.3 billion while imports were up 0.3 percent to $230 billion. Find out more at http://www.bnd.com/business. ...

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U.S. unemployment benefit applications fell by 20,000 last week to 331,000. The Labor Department reported that a total of 3.47 million Americans received benefits as of Jan. 18, down from 3.58 million the week before. Learn more at http://www.bnd.com/business. ...

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General Motors recorded record profits in North American sales last year, earning a profit of $913 million. That was up from $892 million recorded the year before. Revenue rose 3 percent to $40.5 billion. For more information, go to http://www.bnd.com/business.

-- Will Buss, BND business writer

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