The U.S. economy grew at a slow but decent clip from April through mid-May, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book, an overview of the business conditions in each of the Fed's 12 Districts.
“Overall economic activity increased at a modest to moderate pace … across all Federal Reserve Districts except the Dallas District, which reported strong economic growth,” the report notes. ( Of course the Dallas Fed reported strong growth.)
Released every two months, the Beige Book relies on anecdotal reporting from business communities in New York, Richmond, Va., San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Boston, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Minneapolis (the Fed’s 12 districts).
Each report is prepared by a different District. Thursday's report comes from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
Growth in the Fed’s 12 Districts was driven by manufacturing and consumer spending.
“Tourism showed signs of strength in several Districts. A wide variety of business services expanded, and transportation traffic increased for producer, consumer, and trade goods,” the report notes.
“Residential real estate and construction activity increased at a moderate to strong pace in all Districts. Commercial real estate and construction activity grew at a modest to moderate pace in most Districts,” the report adds.
Although hiring saw an uptick in several Districts, most reported having a difficult time finding qualified candidates. So much for all that emphasis put on going to college.
“Wage pressures remained contained overall,” the report continues, “although several Districts reported a modest or moderate rise for selected occupations. Districts reported level prices to mild price increases; some manufacturers raised prices and some increases for input prices were noted.”
But despite the fairly decent Fed report, U.S. stocks have taken a beating all day:
Furthermore, even with the reported growth in the 12 Fed Districts, it seems unlikely that the Fed will ease off its massive $85 billion monthly purchases of bonds.
Here’s the full report:
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