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Sales are up for companies, and so are wages, survey says

Sales and profits picked up for companies at the end of last year, and more say they’re paying their workers higher wages and salaries in the latest signs that the U.S. economy continues to improve.

The encouraging signals come from a survey released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics of more than 100 members at companies and industry groups.

After years of recovery following the Great Recession, the job market and the economy have become so healthy that businesses say finding skilled workers is the most difficult it has been in nearly a decade.

The responses fit with recent government reports that show the economy grew at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the last three months of 2017 and the unemployment rate is at a 17-year low.

In the survey, 47 percent of respondents said their sales rose over the past three months, up a tick from 46 percent three months earlier. Fewer companies said their sales were falling.

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