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--Key Things We Learned From The Sept. 4 Beige Book
By Evan Ryser 
     WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. economic activity continued at a modest 
pace through August as tariffs and general trade uncertainty continued 
to weigh and overall manufacturing activity weakened slightly from the 
previous report, according to the Federal Reserve's latest report on 
Current Economic Conditions. 
     Here are some key points from the report known as the Beige Book, 
as compiled by the Atlanta Fed based on information gathered through 
Aug. 23: 
     - Most Fed districts reported slight to modest growth. The Atlanta 
district saw a moderation in growth, reporting softer manufacturing 
activity. Two Fed districts, Cleveland and Minneapolis, reported flat 
growth as manufacturing slowed. 
     - The impact of tariffs on pricing were mixed with some districts 
anticipating that the effects would not be felt for months, the report 
said. Most districts indicated modest price increased since the last 
report. However, many manufacturers and some other businesses reported 
delaying making investment decisions due to trade uncertainty. 
     - Price increases were modest overall with retailers and 
manufacturers reporting slight increases in input costs. Manufacturing 
reported a limited ability to raise prices putting pressure on growth, 
while other firms noted an ability to pass along price increases. 
     - Labor markets stayed tight with the pace of wage growth staying 
at a "modest to moderate" level throughout the country. Several 
districts cited tight labor markets across segments and skill levels 
constraining overall business activity. Labor shortages limited business 
expansion in some areas. 
 
     - Consumer spending reports were mixed, though auto sales for most 
districts grew at a modest pace, on par with the previous reporting 
period. Tourism remained solid in most reporting districts. Housing 
sales were constrained by a lack of inventory while new home 
construction remained flat. 
     ** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 ** 
 
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