2017 Economic Calendar
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U.S. & Intl Recaps   |   Event Definitions   |   Today's Calendar

Employment Cost Index  
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
The employment cost index is an easy way to evaluate wage trends and the risk of wage inflation. Wage inflation is high on the Federal Reserve's enemy list. Fed officials are always on the lookout for the prospects of inflationary pressures. Wage pressures tend to percolate when economic activity is booming and the demand for labor is rising rapidly. During economic downturns, wage pressures tend to be subdued because labor demand is down.

By tracking labor costs, investors can gain a sense of whether businesses will feel the need to raise prices. If wage inflation threatens, it's a good bet that interest rates will rise, bond and stock prices will fall, and the only investors in a good mood will be the ones who tracked the employment cost index and adjusted their portfolios to anticipate these events.

Frequency
Quarterly

Source
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor.

Availability
Last week of every third month.

Coverage
Data are released the first month of the following quarter of the reference quarter. First quarter data are released in April.

Revisions
No.


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