* Q2 productivity revised to -0.5 pct from -0.4 pct * Q1 productivity grew 0.4 pct vs flat reading previously
OTTAWA, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Canadian labor productivity grewslightly faster in the first half of this year than previouslyestimated, according to revised figures released by StatisticsCanada on Friday that also showed little change to the data overthe past 30 years.
Statscan revised down its estimate of second-quarterproductivity to a decline of 0.5 percent from a 0.4 percentdecline previously. But in the first quarter, it saidproductivity actually grew 0.4 percent versus its initial reportof no change in that period.
Overall in the three decades from 1981 to 2011 the averageproductivity growth was revised down a notch to 1.3 percent from1.4 percent.
The data reflects historical revisions Statscan recentlymade to Canada's national accounts to align itself with updatedinternational standards.
The revisions affected all the variables used to measurelabor productivity in the business sector - gross domesticproduct, employment, hours worked and compensation.
Canada's poor productivity record compared with the UnitedStates is a sore point for policymakers, who urge businesses toinvest more in machinery and technology to boost performance.
The revised data showed U.S. labor productivity growth isnow 0.8 percentage point higher than in Canada for the 1981 to2011 period, up from 0.7 point, and the gap widened to 1.5points in the most recent decade.
(Reporting by Louise Egan; Editing by Leslie Adler)
Keywords: CANADA ECONOMY/PRODUCTIVITY