|09-04-2014, 01:12 AM||#1|
Fed`s Beige Book finds moderate pickup in growth across the U.S.
The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book showed the U.S. economy gaining momentum in all regions in July and August in most industries including consumer spending, auto sales, and tourism.
The survey showed economic activity expanded in all twelve districts for the second straight time.
All 12 of the Fed`s regions reported growth. New York, Cleveland, Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas and San Francisco characterized their growth as "moderate." The other districts reported somewhat slower expansion.
The survey, known as the Beige Book, is based on anecdotal reports from businesses and will be considered with other data when Fed policymakers meet Sept. 16-17.
This Beige Book was similar in tone to the previous two and more tempered in its outlook than recent government data that show an accelerating economy.
Manufacturing conditions were mixed among districts, while consumer spending increased at rates ranging from slight to moderate in most districts. However, optimism about the short-term outlook prevailed across all districts.
However, the survey found no clear evidence that the economy is expanding so fast that the Fed might soon need to begin raising interest rates to prevent inflation.
Most regions reported optimism about key economic sectors. A majority cited increased loan demand, for example, and hotel occupancies.
Loan demand rose in eight districts and held steady in one. Six districts reported improving credit quality, falling delinquency rates, or both.
A bright spot was auto sales . In Philadelphia, auto dealers reported record car sales in July. Cleveland, Chicago, Kansas City and San Francisco reported an increase in SUVs and pickup trucks purchases.
Tourism accelerated across the country. As for the housing sector, about half of the districts reported new house construction and existing home sales were stable or growing, although modestly.
Even with over 200,000 job gains over the last six months, the Fed said hiring trends were “generally modest.” The survey said employers were finding it more difficult to find skilled employees.
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