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The economic activity contracted sharply and abruptly across all regions in the United States as a result for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve said in its Beige Book on Wednesday.

Key takeaways

“Employment cuts most severe in retail, leisure and hospitality.”

“Employment declined in all Fed districts.”

“Hardest-hit industries were leisure and hospitality, and retail.”

“Many Fed districts said severe job cuts were widespread, though some contacts said expected reductions would be temporary.”

“General direction of prices was down.”

“Producers of food and medical products reported strong demand but faced both production delays and supply chain disruptions.”

“Other manufacturing industries, such as autos, mostly shut down.”

“Energy sector, suffering from low prices, reduced investment and output.”

“Districts reporting on loan demand said it was high, both from companies accessing credit lines and from households refinancing mortgages.”

“All districts reported highly uncertain outlooks among business contacts, with most expecting conditions to worsen in the next several months.

Market reaction

Markets largely ignored these comments and Wall Street’s main indexes were last seen erasing between 1.1% and 2.2% on the day.