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     WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following are compiled excerpts from the 
Federal Reserve's report on Current Economic Conditions, known as 
The Beige Book, released Wednesday: 
National Summary
     "Contacts in a few Districts conveyed reports of modest increases 
in compensation following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act." 
     "Some firms reported that the Tax Cut and Jobs Act is enabling them 
to increase investment and raise worker pay."
     "The tough competition for workers led employers to raise wages 
during the survey period, especially for lower-wage jobs. Contacts 
speculated that savings resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) 
will, in part, support pay increases over the short to medium terms.A 
few bankers expect to raise minimum pay to $15 per hour within the next 
year or two.However, few contacts expect the tax cuts to lead to more 
robust hiring. Rather, firms expect to maintain their recent hiring pace 
over the short term." 
     "One large retailer planned to pass along half its savings from the 
corporate tax cut to selected workers in the form of higher wages, while 
a smaller retailer said it planned to raise salaries a bit to match the 
wage increases announced by some prominent retail chains as a result of 
the tax cuts.  "
     (Retail and Tourism) "One contact said that the cut in federal 
income taxes and actual or expected wage gains augur well for the retail 
     (Manufacturing) "Contacts said that it was too soon to determine 
the effect of the new tax code on capital spending." 
     "Respondents across the First District voiced concerns that 
commercial property values could fall in response to rising yields on 
long-term Treasuries, and cited both upside and downside risks related 
to recent changes in federal tax laws and the recently signed federal 
     "Wage pressures were moderate since the last report. A number of 
one-time bonuses were reported, stemming from recent changes in federal 
tax policy. Several contacts, including a Montana banker, also said 
raises were more likely because tax reform provides a way to pay for 
increased wages without increasing prices or reducing profits. A 
Minnesota construction contractor said wages are going up because we 
are seeing an increase in productivity. A Montana ski resort contact 
said that tax savings would allow the company to raise wages, and a 
Montana construction contact believed tax changes would provide a 
sizable, single-step increase in wages. However, a number of public 
union contracts covering South Dakota county employees, Minnesota and 
Wisconsin state employees, and higher education service workers in 
Minnesotaall settled for increases of 2 percent or less." 
     (Manufacturing) "Outlooks overall remained highly positive, with 
contacts citing tax reform and a lower dollar as tailwinds, and rising 
interest rates and inflation as potential headwinds." 
--MNI Washington Bureau;tel: +1 202 371-2121
[TOPICS: MMUFE$,M$U$$$]                              

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