Highlights from the Fed's US economic survey
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday found that the economy grew moderately in July and early August, and hiring was more robust than in the previous six-week period.
The Fed report, known as the Beige Book, said that nine of its 12 banking districts reported growth that was "modest" or "moderate." That was roughly in line with the findings of the previous survey.
The report is based on anecdotal information from the regional districts and covers the period from July through Aug. 20.
Here are some highlights:
BOSTON (includes Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and part of Connecticut):
Reports from businesses were mixed. Tourism contacts and some retailers cited strong results. But other merchants were more downbeat. Manufacturers reported solid performance but some said sales had fallen compared to a year ago.
NEW YORK (includes New York and parts of Connecticut and New Jersey):
The area experienced modest growth. Retailers reported generally favorable results and tourism activity remained strong. Manhattan's commercial real estate market picked up somewhat.
PHILADELPHIA (includes Delaware and parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey):
Business activity grew slowly but the pace shifted in a few sectors. Manufacturing declined more slowly, while retails sales grew faster.
CLEVELAND (includes Ohio, Kentucky and parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia):
The area reported modest growth. Manufacturing output decreased. Construction activity picked up. Retailers saw a modest rise in sales during July and motor vehicle purchases held steady.
RICHMOND (includes Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, District of Columbia and part of West Virginia):
Economic activity was mixed. Manufacturing and hiring weakened. But retail sales improved, summer tourism was strong and residential real estate activity inched up.
ATLANTA (includes Georgia, Alabama, Florida and parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee):
The area experienced modest growth. But many businesses expressed concerns about their short-term outlook. Retailers saw slower activity outside of autos sales.
CHICAGO (includes Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and parts of Illinois and Indiana):
Growth continued at a moderate but slower pace. Businesses expressed concerns about the outlook in the second half of the year. The specifically cited a pending budget impasse in Washington, which could result in tax increases and less government spending. They also are worried about weaker growth in Europe and Asia, which could hurt U.S. exports and factory production.
ST. LOUIS (Includes Missouri, Arkansas and Kentucky, and parts of Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee and Mississippi):
The local economy grew modestly. Retail sales and auto sales increased, and the housing market showed improvement. But manufacturing was mixed.
MINNEAPOLIS (includes Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin and Michigan):
Businesses reported modest growth, noting stronger consumer spending, tourism, professional services, construction and real estate. Activity slowed slightly in manufacturing and the energy sector.
KANSAS CITY (includes Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and parts of Missouri and New Mexico):
The economy grew moderately. Retailers and auto dealers reported higher sales and expected increased activity in the months ahead. Agricultural conditions deteriorated under extreme drought conditions.
DALLAS (includes Texas and parts of New Mexico and Louisiana):
The economy grew moderately. Manufacturing expanded, and retail sales edged up. Financial firms noted softening loan demand. Wage and price pressures were modest.
SAN FRANCISCO (includes California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Hawaii and Alaska):
Economic activity grew modestly. Inflation was tame, although employers saw little pressure to raise pay.