The U.S. economy expanded at a moderate pace between early April and late May, though turmoil in Europe and political uncertainty in the U.S. worried some employers, the Federal Reserve said in a report released Wednesday (June 6).
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the economy expanded at a moderate or modest pace in the central bank’s 12 districts, the Fed said in its latest beige-book report, based on anecdotes collected from business contacts and economists spread across the nation.
Hiring was steady and manufacturing continued to expand in most districts, with particular strength in auto and steel manufacturing, the Fed said in the report.
“Economic outlooks remain positive, but contacts were slightly more guarded in their optimism,” the beige book noted. For instance, while manufacturers experienced gains in production and new orders in most regions, “contacts in a number of districts were concerned that a slowdown in Europe and domestic political uncertainty may affect future business conditions.”
The report noted steady growth or improvements in many corners of the economy, including consumer spending, travel and tourism, agricultural conditions, loan demand and credit conditions, and residential and commercial real estate. Over all, wage pressures and price inflation were “modest,” and overall cost pressures eased as the price of energy declined, the Fed noted.
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