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Latest Beige Book Notes Upward Pressure in Wages
Thursday, September 3, 2015 6:40 AM

In Wednesday's update of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, a snapshot of the state of the U.S. economy, all 12 districts tracked by the central bank reported expanding economic conditions. Two weeks out from the Federal Reserve’s much-anticipated September meeting, the Fed received data indicating wage pressures are finally starting to build, indicating potential improvement in inflation.

“In most cases, these recent results represented a continuation of the overall pace reported in the July Beige Book,” the Fed said. “Respondents in most sectors across districts expected growth to continue at its recent pace.”

Many analysts had predicted the Fed might raise interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis at its meeting Sept. 16-17, though recent economic fissures have given experts pause. Perhaps adding to the uncertainty, many districts in the report said that a strong dollar, a drop in oil prices, and a weaker Chinese economy have hindered economic activity. Still, most districts said labor demand continues to climb and that tightening labor markets are pushing up wages in a number of industries.

“Across all districts, input and selling prices were reported to be stable or up only slightly,” the Fed said.