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.