WASHINGTON — U.S. companies got more output from their workers this spring than initially thought. Productivity rose at a modest 2.2 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter, largely because employers cut back sharply on hiring.
Most economists expect productivity will slow later this year, a trend that could boost hiring.
The Labor Department had estimated a 1.6 percent gain in the second quarter.
Homes spend less time on the market
LOS ANGELES — U.S. homes are taking less time to sell than a year ago, reflecting more homebuyer demand and fewer bank-owned homes.
The National Associa-tion of Realtors said Wed-nesday that the median time a previously occupied home was listed for sale shrank in July to 69 days. That’s down from 98 days in the same month last year.
One-third of the homes purchased in July were on the market for less than a month, while one in five was on the market for at least six months.
In other news
PRIVATE EQUITY FUNDS that control Solyndra LLC could reap more than $340 million in tax breaks after the failed solar power company emerges from bankruptcy. Solyndra’s net operating loss is estimated at $875 million to $975 million. If Argonaut Ventures I LLC and Madrone Partners LP generate an equal amount of income, they could use those losses to cut their federal income tax bills by up to $341 million.
– Associated Press