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MNI BRIEF: US Labor Costs Increase 1.2%, Meeting Expectations


The Employment Cost Index, the broadest measure of U.S. labor costs, rose 1.2% last quarter after gaining 1.3% in the April-June period, the Labor Department said on Friday.

The year-on-year rate eased to 5.0% from 5.1% in the previous quarter. Wages and salaries rose 1.3% after shooting up 1.4% in the previous quarter, and were up 5.1% year-on-year. Benefits gained 1.0% after rising 1.2%% in the prior quarter, and were up 4.9% over the 12-month period.

The ECI is widely viewed by policymakers and economists as one of the better measures of labor market slack and a predictor of core inflation, as it adjusts for composition and job-quality changes. Current and former Fed officials are looking for nominal wages to cool to around 3.25% to 3.5%.

MNI Washington Bureau | +1 202-371-2121 |
MNI Washington Bureau | +1 202-371-2121 |

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