2018 Economic Calendar
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Employment Cost Index  
Released On 7/31/2018 8:30:00 AM For Q2:18
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
ECI - Q/Q change0.8 %0.7 %0.6 % to 1.0 %0.6 %
ECI - Y/Y change2.7 %2.8 %

Highlights
Slowing in wage costs kept down the employment cost index in the second quarter, coming in at a 0.6 percent gain which is at the low end of expectations and down noticeably from the first quarter's 0.8 percent gain.

Wages & salaries rose only 0.5 percent in the quarter, well down from 0.9 percent in the first quarter in what will be a relief for Federal Reserve policy makers who are on the watch for wage pressures given the strength of the labor market. But there is cost pressure for employers and that's in benefits which had been behaved but did rise 0.9 percent in the latest quarter.

And year-on-year rates actually ticked higher, up 1 tenth overall to 2.8 percent which is the same result for the wages & salaries component. The benefits component rose 3 tenths to 2.9 percent.

This is a mixed report but the slowing in quarterly wages is a tangible positive and complements the modest inflation readings in this morning's personal income & outlays report.

Consensus Outlook
Slightly easing pressure is expected for the employment cost index with Econoday's consensus at a 0.7 percent rise in the second quarter compared to 0.8 percent in the first quarter. The year-on-year rate in the first quarter, at 2.7 percent, was the highest in 10 years in what was a strong signal of wage pressures in the labor market.

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]
Federal Reserve policy makers monitor wage data closely especially the employment cost index. Components of the index are wages & salaries and also benefits where health insurance premiums are a dominant factor.
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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