Economists have long suspected that productivity gains as a result of technological innovations such as electronic funds transfer have been understated throughout the vast service sector of the economy, and particularly in a leading part of that sector -- banking.

The Commerce Department recently outlined in general terms a sweeping plan to revise the way in which it calculates productivity in services, including banking, taking into account the dramatic transformation of financial services over the past two decades. The details are expected to be released in October.

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