Exclusive interviews with leading policymakers that convey the true policy message that impacts markets.
Reporting on key macro data at the time of release.
Real-time insight on key fixed income and fx markets.
- Emerging MarketsEmerging Markets
Real-time insight of emerging markets in CEMEA, Asia and LatAm region
- MNI ResearchMNI Research
Actionable insight on monetary policy, balance sheet and inflation with focus on global issuance. Analysis on key political risk impacting the global markets.
- About Us
--Report Prepared by the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank
--Responses Collected Before Nov. 17
WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is an excerpt from the summary of
the Federal Reserve's report on Current Economic Conditions, known as
The Beige Book, released Wednesday:
Overall Economic Activity
Economic activity continued to increase at a modest to moderate
pace in October and mid-November, according to anecdotal reports from
contacts across the 12 Federal Reserve Districts. There was a slight
improvement in the outlook among contacts in reporting Districts.
Pre-holiday reports of consumer spending on retail and autos were mixed
but largely flat; still, the outlook for holiday sales was generally
optimistic. Many Districts highlighted growth in the transpor-tation
sector, although the New York District reported a slight softening and
the San Francisco District noted that North-ern California wildfires
temporarily reduced shipping volumes. Residential real estate activity
remained constrained, with most Districts reporting little growth in
sales or construction. By contrast, nonresidential activity was
consistent with previous reports of slight growth. Loan demand was
steady to moderately stronger. All Districts reported that
manufac-turing activity expanded during the reporting period, with most
describing growth as moderate. Among reporting Dis-tricts, manufacturing
contacts predominantly expected activity to continue to pick up,
although the Philadelphia and St. Louis Districts noted signs of a
Employment and Wages
Employment growth has increased since the previous report, with
most Districts characterizing growth as modest to moderate. Reports of
tightness in the labor market were widespread. Most Districts reported
employers were having difficulties finding qualified workers across
various skill levels, and several Districts reported that an inability
to find workers with the required skills was a key factor restraining
hiring plans. Wage growth was modest or moderate in most Districts. Wage
increases were most notable for professional, technical, and production
positions that remain difficult to fill. Many Districts reported that
employers were raising wages as well as increasing their use of signing
bonuses and other nonwage benefits to retain or attract employees.
Price pressures have strengthened since the last report. Most
Districts reported modest to moderate growth in selling prices and
moderate increases in non-labor input costs. In particular,
construction-material costs rose in most regions, with many Districts
citing increased lumber costs and/or increases in demand for materials
due to hurricane rebuilding efforts. Residential real estate prices
generally increased as well. There were also reports of increases in
costs in the transportation sector. Additionally, several Districts
noted input cost increases in manufacturing. In many cases, these
increases in transportation and manufacturing were passed through to
consumers. Fuel prices also rose, with multiple Districts reporting
upward pressure on oil and natural gas prices. However, agricultural
price pressures remain mixed.
--MNI Washington Bureau;tel: +1 202 371-2121