Reuters (07/31/14) Lucia Mutikani
The Employment Cost Index climbed 0.7% during the second quarter, the largest increase since the third quarter of 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The index increased 0.3% in the first quarter of the year. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast a 0.5% rise in the second quarter, and they expect the index to rise significantly in the second half of the year. Labor costs increased 2.0% in the 12 months through June, compared with 1.8% in the 12 months through March.