2018 Economic Calendar
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Employment Cost Index  
Released On 1/31/2018 8:30:00 AM For Q4:17
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
ECI - Q/Q change0.7 %0.6 %0.4 % to 0.9 %0.6 %
ECI - Y/Y change2.5 %2.6 %

Highlights
Wage costs and benefit costs eased off in the fourth quarter but the trend remains significantly firm. The employment index rose an as-expected 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter which is down 1 tenth from the third quarter -- yet the year-on-year rate continues to move higher, up 1 tenth to 2.6 percent. This rate was last matched in first-quarter 2015 and is otherwise the highest of the post-2008 expansion.

The breakdown between the wages & salaries component and the benefits component show similar pressure. This report won't raise any red flags at today's FOMC meeting but it will certainly be cited as a further indication of tightness in the labor market, conditions that could be pointing to a future inflationary flashpoint for wages.

Recent History Of This Indicator
Another quarter of emerging wage pressures is the expectation for the fourth-quarter employment cost index where forecasters are calling for a 0.6 percent rise. The ECI jumped 0.7 percent in the third quarter for a year-on-year 2.5 percent, both near the highest rates of the expansion. Pressures in the third-quarter report were evenly split between wages and benefits.

Definition
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
 
[Chart]
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
 
 

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/314/277/3110/31
Release For: Q4:17Q1:18Q2:18Q3:18
 


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