Friday, July 31, 2015 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC -
The inflation reading Employment Cost Index, which is the broadest measure of labor costs, gained 0.2% in the 2nd quarter of 2015. This represented the smallest increase in 33 years, while wage and benefit costs also showed meager gains. Labor costs rose 2% in the year ending in June, below the 3% target that is needed to bring core inflation closer to the 2% level that the Fed is trying to achieve.The final reading on July Consumer Sentiment showed that the index slipped to 93.1 from the 96.1 recorded in the previous month. The index has averaged 94.5 since December, the highest eight-month span since 2004 as consumers remain positive on jobs and wages. The decline in July was attributed to "the disappointing pace of economic growth" thus far in 2015. The economy grew at an anemic pace of 0.6% in the first quarter of 2015, while the second quarter did show promise with a 2.3% gain in the second quarter.
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