Salary increase budgets were hit hard in 2009. The good news for 2010 — budgets are projected to be higher. The bad news — the forecasted increase, at 3 percent, is the lowest in 25 years. Despite the relatively low level of projected salary budget increases in 2010, the danger of inflation eroding the real value of the increase appears slight. The forecast by the Conference Board projects a 2 percent inflation rate for 2010. Significant slack in production capacity means that overall inflationary pressures are unlikely in the coming year.