THE ECONOMY

THE ECONOMY

US NON-FARM OUTPUT

DOWN 1 PERCENT IN 1ST QUARTERThe productivity of U.S. non-farm businesses fell at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1 percent in the first quarter, compared with a revised 0.5 percent gain in the fourth quarter of 1989, the Labor Department said Monday.

Unit labor costs in the non-farm sector in the first quarter rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.9 percent after rising a revised 5.5 percent in the fourth quarter. The largest previous decline in non-farm productivity was a 1.3 percent drop from the fourth quarter of 1988 to the first quarter of 1989.

HIGH INTEREST RATES

PRESSURE HOME PRICES

WASHINGTON - High interest rates, rising building costs and environmental pressures could make affordable housing increasingly scarce, a home building industry official said Monday.

"We must deal with the northern spotted owl and turning aside timber areas (to protect the species)," said Shirley McVay Wiseman, former president of the National Association of Home Builders. "The endangered species will be the American dream of home building, not the owl or desert tortoise."