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Economic Report: Coming up: U.S. first quarter wage data unlikely to bring relief to those fretting about inflation

Compensation costs for workers in the first quarter likely accelerated to a 1.1% gain from a 1% increase in the October-December quarter, according to economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

The quarterly report on employee compensation, considered the best and broadest measure of wages, will be released by the Labor Department at 8:30 a.m Eastern.

Last December, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the third-quarter compensation data was a key factor in his hawkish pivot.

The first quarter data “are unlikely to bring any relief to a group already fretting that the labor market is “too tight,” said Richard Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial Corp.

When the labor market is tight, wages rise, and companies try to pass along the higher costs to consumers. Over the past year, they have been successful, raising the consumer price inflation index to an 8.5% annual rate, the highest in 40 years.

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