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Fed’s Beige Book: Economy continued to grow in late January and February

Below are some key takeaways from the Fed’s Beige Book, the publication conducted through interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources are gathered by each of the 12 Federal Reserve Districts.  

  • U.S. economy continued to grow in late January and February, with 10 of 12 federal reserve districts reporting slight-to-moderate pace of expansion and two saying growth was flat.
  • About half of Fed’s districts said recent partial shutdown of U.S government slowed some sectors of the economy, including retail, auto sales and manufacturing.
  • Consumer spending was “mixed,” with several fed districts saying bad winter weather and rising credit costs curbed consumption.
  • Numerous  manufacturing contacts were worried about slowing global demand, higher tariff costs, and overall policy certainty.
  • Majority of Fed districts reported modest-to-moderate job gains, with labor markets remaining tight for all skill levels.
  • Wages continued to increase for all skill levels, with a majority of districts reporting moderately higher pay for workers.
  • Prices continued to increase at a modest-to-moderate pace, with several districts saying input prices were rising faster than selling prices.
  • A few districts cited price pressures from tariffs on certain goods and services, but several noted that the price of steel had stabilized or dropped.

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