2011 Economic Calendar
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Employment Cost Index  
Released On 10/28/2011 8:30:00 AM For Q3, 2011
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
ECI - Q/Q change0.7 %0.6 %0.5 % to 0.8 %0.3 %
ECI - Y/Y change2.2 %2.0 %

Growth in benefit costs eased substantially in the third quarter and helped to bring down the employment cost index to a quarter-to-quarter plus 0.3 percent in the third quarter from outsized 0.7 percent and 0.6 percent gains in the prior two quarters. The reading is far below the Econoday consensus for plus 0.6 percent. The year-on-year rate slowed to 2.0 percent vs the prior quarters' 2.2 percent and 1.9 percent.

Benefit costs slowed to plus 0.1 percent in the third quarter, down from 1.3 percent and 1.1 percent in the prior two quarters. Wages & salaries rose a respectable 0.3 percent, following a run of 0.4 percent gains. But the year-on-year rate of plus 1.6 percent, the second in a row, is below the core CPI rate of plus 2.0 percent and well below the overall CPI rate of plus 3.9 percent.

Consensus Outlook
The employment cost index in the second quarter jumped a sharp 0.7 percent (not annualized), the largest increase of the recovery. Benefits, which make up 30 percent of the index, rose 1.3 percent on top of the first-quarter's 1.1 percent jump with wages & salaries, which make up the remaining 70 percent, showing no acceleration at plus 0.4 percent.

A measure of total employee compensation costs, including wages and salaries as well as benefits. The employment cost index (ECI) is the broadest measure of labor costs.  Why Investors Care
The employment cost index measured total compensation costs which include wages and salaries and also benefits. Benefits include vacations, but the primary mover is health insurance premiums.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2011 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/284/297/2910/28
Release For: Q4Q1Q2Q3

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