While the projected increase in wage growth would represent a slight tick downward from the January reading, it would add credence to the notion that wages are set for further gains, said Steve Blitz, chief U.S. economist at analysis firm TS Lombard. "Everything says that wages are beginning to trend higher," Blitz said in a phone interview. "Given the continued expansion of jobs and the economy and the low level of unemployment, you can only assume upward pressure on wages going forward." Fed officials currently project three quarter-point rate increases this year, but TS Lombard's Blitz said he thinks upward wage pressure could spur the central bank to raise rates four times.
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