Fed Beige Book: Growth stays modest to moderate

Economy 12/5/2018, 8:22 PM
Fed Beige Book: Growth stays modest to moderate

From mid-October through late November, new home construction and sales of existing houses and flats tended to decline or hold steady, the United States Federal Reserve said on Wednesday in this year's eighth and ultimate regular report for the year. The Beige Book also highlighted stagnation or increase in construction and leasing in the nonresidential sector, while acknowledging consumer spending has "held steady." Combined data from the twelve districts showed expansion remained modest or moderate.

"Overall, lending volumes grew modestly, although a few districts noted some slowing. Agricultural conditions and farm incomes were mixed; some districts noted impacts from excessive rainfall and from tariffs," policymakers wrote and stressed the labor market "tightened further" broadly, with registered shortages of skilled workers. But respondents said wage increases "tended to the higher side of a modest to moderate pace."

Input costs grew more than prices charged in most cases and expenses from import tariffs kicked in, but inflation was modest or, in a "few" territories, moderate.

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