- BLS hourly productivity for the quarter -- released early in the next quarter
- hourly real personal income (that is, personal income deflated as explained above) averaged for the first two months of the quarter -- available in the last month of the quarter
For the years 2000-8, I regressed log BLS productivity on its lag, a linear time trend, and the log of the personal income variable for the first two months. The last variable had a positive, economically significant, and statistically significant coefficient. That is -- if this relationship holds up -- today we can expect Q4 BLS productivity (not released yet) to be higher because hourly personal income is high for Oct and Nov.
Here is a graph of the two series since 2005. The graph is monthly, so the BLS productivity measure is centered on the middle month of the quarter. The last 3 personal income data points are September (part of Q3), Oct (Q4), and Nov (Q4).
Here's a version with transfers subtracted out of personal income.