Fed Beige Book Finds Increasing Wage Pressures

WASHINGTON ( MarketWatch) - The Federal Reserve's Beige Book indicated growing wage pressure in the U.S. economy, a development that could impact the central bank's deliberations at the upcoming September interest-rate-setting meeting. The report said that "several" of the 12 district banks "reported increasing wage pressures caused by labor market tightening." Earlier Beige Book reports this year have found only higher pay in isolated sectors and other labor market data has shown no sign of higher wage pressure so far this year. Wage pressures could give Fed officials more confidence that inflation may move higher, a key condition to any rate hike. Overall, the report was optimistic about activity, echoing the tone of the prior report earlier in the summer. There were some more mixed views underneath the surface due to the stronger dollar and sharp drop in the price of oil. The slowdown in China was a factor in reducing demand in businesses in three districts.

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