Fed: ‘Slow to Moderate’ Growth in 11 Districts

The Federal Reserve said the economy expanded at a “moderate” pace in 11 of 12 districts, led by gains in manufacturing and consumer spending.
“Overall economic activity increased at a slow to moderate pace since the previous report across all Federal Reserve districts except St. Louis, which reported a decline in economic activity,” the Fed said in its Beige Book survey released today in Washington covering October and the first half of November.
The report reinforces the central bank’s view that the economy, while strong enough to skirt a recession, remains too weak to bring down an unemployment rate stuck near 9 percent or higher for more than two years. At their last meeting Nov. 1-2, some Fed policy makers said the central bank should consider easing policy further, according to minutes of the meeting.
Today’s report said “hiring was generally subdued” and residential real estate “generally remained sluggish.” In the previous Beige Book report released Oct. 19, the Fed said that the economy was expanding “although many districts described the pace of growth as ‘modest’ or ‘slight.’”
The Beige Book underscores other recent reports showing that “the U.S. economy is in a much better place, no chance of a double dip recession,” Allen Sinai, president of Decision Economics Inc. in New York, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “Jobs will keep going up, the unemployment rate will keep going down, but very, very slowly.”


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