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--Report Prepared by the Minneapolis Fed Bank
--Data Collected On Or Before Oct. 6
     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 
     Reports from all 12 Federal Reserve Districts indicated that 
economic activity increased in September through early October, with the 
pace of growth split between modest and moderate. The Richmond, Atlanta, 
and Dallas Districts reported major disruptions from Hurricanes Harvey 
and Irma in some areas and sectors, including transportation, energy, 
and agriculture. Manufacturing activity and nonfinancial services 
expanded modestly to moderately in most Districts. Retail spending rose 
slowly, while vehicle sales and tourism increased in most Districts. 
Residential construction continued to increase, and growth in commercial 
construction was up slightly on balance. Low home inventory levels 
continued to constrain residential sales in many areas, while 
nonresidential real estate activity increased slightly overall. Loan 
demand was generally stable to modestly higher. Growth in the energy 
sector eased slightly. Agricultural conditions were mixed; while some 
regions were reporting better-than-expected harvests, low commodity 
prices continued to weigh down farm incomes. 
Employment and Wages
     Employment growth was modest on balance, with most Districts 
reporting flat to moderate increases. Labor markets were widely 
described as tight. Many Districts noted that employers were having 
difficulty finding qualified workers, particularly in construction, 
transportation, skilled manufacturing, and some health care and service 
positions. These shortages were also restraining business growth. Firms 
in several Districts reported that scarcity of labor, particularly 
related to construction, would be exacerbated by hurricane recovery 
efforts. Despite widespread labor tightness, the majority of Districts 
reported only modest to moderate wage pressures. However, some Districts 
reported stronger wage pressures in certain sectors, including 
transportation and construction. Growing use of sign-on bonuses, 
overtime, and other nonwage efforts to attract and retain workers were 
also reported. 
Prices 
     Price pressures remained modest since the previous report. Several 
Districts noted increased manufacturing input costs, but in most cases 
these werent passed through to selling prices. Retail prices generally 
increased slightly. Transportation, energy, and construction materials 
prices increased more rapidly, with some Districts citing effects from 
hurricanes. 
     
--MNI Washington Bureau;tel: +1 202 371-2121; email: 
holly.stokes@marketnews.com                            
                                                     
[TOPICS: MMUFE$,M$U$$$]