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Companies are responding to the sluggish economy by remaining disciplined on labor costs according to the annual U.S. survey of salary increase budget conducted by The Conference Board. Increases for 2008 are budgeted below 4 percent and seem destined to remain near that level in 2009. Median actual salaries increase budget is 3.80 percent, and 72 percent of companies plan merit increases. Figures are reported overall and by industry.