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--Report Prepared by the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank
--5 Districts Report Modest, 6 Districts Moderate, 1 Robust
WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following are the highlights by district in
the summary of the Federal Reserve's report on Current Economic
Conditions, known as The Beige Book, released Wednesday:
Economic activity expanded at a modest pace as 2017 ended, with the
majority of contacts at manufacturing, retail, and software and
information technology firms reporting revenue increases even as some
saw flat or declining revenue. Employers cited tight labor markets as a
constraint on expansion. Respondents outlooks continued to be positive.
Economic activity continued to expand moderately, while labor
markets have remained tight. Input prices have increased at a somewhat
faster pace, while selling prices continued to rise modestly. Housing
markets and commercial real estate markets have been mixed but generally
Economic activity continued to grow at a modest pace, in particular
for manufacturing, nonfinancial services, and tourism. Nonauto retail
sales improved to a modest pace as auto sales slipped to a modest
decline. The construction and real estate sectors changed little. On
balance, employment, wages, and prices continued to grow modestly.
The economy continued to expand at a moderate pace. Labor markets
tightened, with wage pressures coming primarily from workers in low- and
middle-skills jobs. Retailers reported higher-than-expected revenues for
the early part of the holiday shopping season. Homebuilders saw little
evidence of a seasonal downturn in the housing market.
The regional economy grew at a moderate pace in recent weeks.
Robust growth was reported by trucking and tourism firms. Retailers
generally reported better-thanexpected holiday sales. Meanwhile,
commercial real estate activity and commercial lending improved
moderately. Labor markets tightened further and wage pressures
broadened. Price growth remained modest.
Economic activity improved modestly since the previous report. The
labor market remained tight and wage increases were stable. Non-labor
input costs picked up slightly. Retailers were optimistic when reporting
on holiday sales. Home sales were mixed and prices increased modestly.
Commercial real estate contacts continued to indicate improving demand.
Manufacturers noted an increase in new orders.
Economic activity picked up to a moderate pace. Employment,
consumer spending, and manufacturing production increased moderately,
construction and real estate activity rose slightly, and business
spending was unchanged. Wages increased modestly, prices rose slightly,
and financial conditions improved some. Crop and dairy farmers continued
to face challenging conditions.
Economic conditions continued to improve at a modest pace. In
positive news, retailers reports of holiday sales were generally
upbeat, and real estate activity has picked up somewhat. However, auto
dealers continued to report mixed sales results, and agriculture
conditions in the District remain weak.
Ninth District economic activity grew moderately. Although
employment levels dipped, hiring demand appeared to remain strong.
District manufacturers indicated that a solid 2017 would continue, with
upbeat expectations for the year to come. Holiday retail spending was
strong, but winter tourism got off to an uneven start. Commercial
construction increased; homebuilding was mixed, but residential sales
Economic activity and employment expanded modestly in late November
and December. Retail sales increased sharply, and consumer spending
remained well above year-ago levels. The manufacturing and energy
sectors expanded further, and capital spending plans were positive. A
majority of contacts in the services sector reported labor shortages,
and strong wage growth was anticipated in the months ahead.
Economic activity grew robustly, a pickup in pace from the more
moderate expansion seen throughout most of 2017. The manufacturing
sector remained a bright spot, although growth accelerated in most other
sectors as well. Employment growth picked up, and wage and price
pressures remained elevated. Labor shortages persisted, with several
reports that difficulty hiring was impeding growth to some extent.
Economic activity in the Twelfth District continued to expand at a
moderate pace. Sales of retail goods picked up noticeably, and growth in
the consumer and business services sectors remained strong. Conditions
in the manufacturing sector remained solid. Activity in residential real
estate markets remained robust, while conditions in the commercial
sector were strong. Lending activity grew at a modest pace.
--MNI Washington Bureau;tel: +1 202 371-2121