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Inflation rises in the face of stagnant wages

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its June consumer price index data Friday morning, announcing that the price index for all urban consumers increased 2.9%, year over year, not adjusted for seasonality; 20 basis points higher than the month before. Additionally, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta released its year-over-year wage growth figures earlier in the week, estimating overall wages grew by 3.2%.

The spread between the two, or what wages actually grew, when adjusted for inflation declined to about a 30 basis point year-over-year change from a 0.4% change in May and 1.6% increase in real wages in June of 2017.

As U.S. unemployment sinks to historic lows, the wages being doled out are less and less able to keep up with the cost of living, leaving fewer remaining dollars for high price life events such as education and retirement.