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Beige Book: Wage Hikes Across The Nation

The Federal Reserve's Beige Book found "moderate" inflation and wage hikes across the U.S., paving the way for an interest rate hike in March.

"Prices increased in all districts," the Beige Book said. In addition, "most districts saw employers raise wages and expand benefit packages in response to tight labor market conditions." Wage and price growth were described as "moderate."

"Across the country, contacts observed persistent labor market tightness and brisk demand for qualified workers. Several districts reported continued worker shortages across most sectors."

In New York, a growing proportion of businesses in retail and wholesale trade said that they planned to hike prices in the coming months.

Earlier today, Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard suggested the pace of interest rate hikes may need to accelerate.

"The macro environment today is the mirror image of the environment we confronted a couple of years ago," Brainard told the Money Marketeers of New York University. "In the earlier period, strong headwinds sapped the momentum of the recovery and weighed down the path of policy. Today, with headwinds shifting to tailwinds, the reverse could hold true."

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