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This Week: Job openings, Fed Beige Book, consumer prices

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week: HELP WANTED Businesses have stepped up hiring as the economy continues its steady expansion. The trend has resulted in more job openings than job seekers for the past three months. Job openings increased to 6.66 million in June, more than the 6.56 million people who were on the job hunt that month. Did the trend continue in July? Find out Tuesday, when the Labor Department issues its latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey.

JOLTS job openings, in millions, by month: Feb. 6.08 March 6.63 April 6.84 May 6.66 June 6.66 July 6.64 Source: FactSet ECONOMIC SNAPSHOT The Federal Reserve releases its latest Beige Book Wednesday. The report is a snapshot of business conditions in each of the Fed's 12 regional bank districts. July's Beige Book noted that manufacturers in each of the central bank's districts were seeing higher prices and supply disruptions due to ongoing trade disputes between the U.S., China and other trading partners.

PRICE WATCH Economists predict that a gauge of U.S. consumer prices edged higher last month. The Labor Department's consumer price index, due out Thursday, is projected to show a gain of 0.3 percent in August from the previous month. The index ticked up 0.2 percent in July, but consumer prices climbed 2.9 percent versus July 2017, suggesting Americans are earning less than a year ago despite an otherwise solid economy.

Consumer price index, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted, by month: March -0.1 April 0.2 May 0.2 June 0.1 July 0.2 Aug. (est.) 0.3 Source: FactSet

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