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U.S. productivity slumps in first quarter

The productivity of American firms and their employees fell in the first quarter at the fastest rate in a year, reflecting a cutback in the amount of goods and services made available to customers. U.S. productivity — the key to a higher standard of living — declined at a 0.6% annual pace in the first three months of 2017, the government said Thursday. Economists polled had forecast no change.

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