Recent government figures show that profits from current production as a share of national income have risen from 7 per cent in mid-2001 to 12.2 per cent at the start of this year. This rate of growth is unprecedented since collection of these figures began in 1947.
Profits have climbed by 123 per cent over the same period, soaring from $714.5bn (£552.57bn, £378.89bn) to $1,595.4bn - also the fastest increase since records began. Other official data have shown that profit growth by manufacturing companies, often seen as one of the weakest sectors, has outstripped the rest of the economy. [ed.: maybe having something to do with
Over the past year, unit labour costs rose just 0.3 per cent - a downward revision from the first estimate. Since labour costs represent about 70 per cent of corporate ex-penses, the slow real growth in compensation, coupled with greater efficiency, has more than offset the impact of rising raw material prices for companies.