2013 Economic Calendar
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Employment Cost Index  
Released On 7/31/2013 8:30:00 AM For Q2:13
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
ECI - Q/Q change0.3 %0.4 %0.3 % to 0.6 %0.5 %
ECI - Y/Y change1.8 %1.9 %

The hawks at the Federal Reserve may be able to find some ammunition against the doves in today's employment cost index report, but not too much. The second-quarter increase is on the high side, at plus 0.5 percent for a second straight quarter with the year-on-year rate, which is still under 2 percent, but just barely at 1.9 percent for a second straight quarter. The first-quarter rate is revised upward from an initial plus 0.3 percent with the year-on-year rate also revised higher from an initial 1.8 percent.

The direction of the components, however, is lower with wages & salaries showing a quarterly 0.4 percent rise, vs 0.5 percent in the first quarter, and with the benefits component at plus 0.4 percent vs the first quarter's 0.6 percent. Note that there are revisions to the benefits data which were skewed by coding errors in the first quarter.

Consensus Outlook
The employment cost index for civilian workers in the first quarter rose a quarterly 0.5 percent, following a 0.4 percent gain in the fourth quarter. Wages & salaries rose 0.5 percent was on the high side for this series and compares with 0.3 percent gains in the two prior quarters. These numbers reflect corrections by the BLS after the initial release.

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

2013 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/314/307/3111/19
Release For: Q4:12Q1:13Q2:13Q3:13

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