Two elements have been missing in the recovery of the US economy from the 2008 crisis — strong wage growth and renewed capital spending by businesses. Of these two, there are encouraging signs that wage growth is finally gaining some traction: The job market is clearly tightening and wages are firming in response. However, there are still only tentative — and not entirely convincing — indications of a recovery in capital spending. For instance, orders for core capital goods have been edging up only in the past two months — and that only after declining for some time.

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