The Fed’s beige book report issued yesterday, August 29, said that the economy grew in all 12 regions of the country. The expansion was modest and uneven with some areas seeing slower growth and others experiencing mixed growth.
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Both housing and the jobs markets expanded. Housing made greater strides and the employment picture improved slightly in some regions.
The beige book report was prepared by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston using information gathered before August 20. The report will be examined and used as the basis for policy discussions at the next meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on September 12 and 13.
Another report showed that the economy grew at a slightly higher pace during the second quarter than had been previously estimated. US gross domestic product was revised to show growth at a 1.7% pace instead of the original estimate of 1.5%.
Most of that growth was due to increases in consumer spending and growth in exports.
The beige book report showed growth, although mixed, just at a time when Fed officials have been particularly uncertain about the strength of the recovery.
Improvements in credit conditions, retail sales, and tourism were noted in the report. The real estate market showed improvements in both residential and commercial sectors.
But industries are showing less optimistic results. Six manufacturing districts showed weakening demand. This was a reflection of weakening demand from overseas. Prices for agricultural commodities rose sharply as a result of the severe drought.
Fed chief Ben Bernanke is due to give a speech on Friday, August 31, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, WY. It is the next point when the Fed may offer some guidance toward whether it will take action
once more to provide economic stimulus.