Fed's beige book :Economic gains were generally modest. Activity remained well below pre-Covid levels

Author: Greg Michalowski | Category: Central Banks

Fed's beige book

The Fed's beige book is being released.  

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Overall economic activity:
  • economic activity increased, but gains were generally modest
  • activity remained well below levels prior to Covid 19 pandemic
  • manufacturing rose most districts, led by increased activity of ports and among transportation and distribution firms
  • consumer spending continue to pick up spark by vehicle sales and improvement in tourism and retail
  • many districts noted a slowing pace of growth in these areas
  • total spending was still far below pre-pandemic levels
  • commercial construction was down widely
  • commercial real estate remained in contraction
  • residential construction was a bright spot showing growth and resilience in many districts
  • residential sales were also notably higher with prices continue to rise along with demand and a shortage of inventory
  • overall loan demand increased slightly led by residential mortgage
  • agricultural conditions continue to suffer from low prices
  • energy activity was the dude at low levels
  • continued uncertainty and volatility related to Covid and its negative effect on consumer business activity was a theme echoed across the country
  • employment increased overall among districts with gains manufacturing cited most
  • some districts also reported slowing job growth and increased hiring volatility particularly in service industries
  • firms continued to experience difficulty finding necessary labor a matter compounded by daycare availability, uncertainty over the coming school year and jobless benefits
  • wages were flat to slightly higher in most districts
  • price pressures increased since the last report will remain modest
  • input prices generally rose faster than selling prices
  • exceptions included inputs experiencing demand surges such as structural lumber
  • freight transportation race rose in several districts due to a resurgence in demand
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