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U.S. Wages May Be Tepid, But Hours and Payrolls Are Firm

Americans positioned to buy more

Wages aren’t the only determinant in Americans’ spending potential. While the 0.2 percent month-over-month gain in June average hourly earnings fell short of estimates, hours worked and payrolls were stronger than forecast, the Labor Department’s jobs report showed on Friday. The agency’s index of aggregate weekly payrolls, which includes the length of the workweek, wages and the number of people on private employer payrolls, has advanced at an annualized 5.3 percent over the last three months, the most since the start of 2015. That explains why economists see the possibility of households spending more.

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