US economic expansion modest in past two months: Federal Reserve


Oct 15, 2015 (LBO) – The United States experienced a continued modest expansion in the past two months, releasing its district report yesterday, the US Federal Reserve said.

Commonly known as the Beige Book, the report is published eight times per year and each Federal Reserve Bank gathers information on current economic conditions in its District through reports from Bank and other sources.

“A number of Districts cite the strong dollar as restraining manufacturing activity as well as tourism spending; Consumer spending grew moderately in the latest reporting period.” the report said.

As per the report, manufacturing has turned in a mixed but generally weaker performance during the period, with a number of Districts noting adverse effects from the energy sector.

Both the housing and commercial real estate markets have improved since the last report.

“Home prices and sales volume increased in almost all regions, and a number of Districts noted relative strength in the market for lower or moderately priced homes.”

Reports on the banking and finance sector were generally positive, it said.

“Lending activity increased, loan quality was steady to improved, and lending standards were little changed or somewhat easier.”

According to the report, labor markets have tightened in most Districts, with some reports of labor shortages particularly for skilled workers.

“Wage growth was mostly subdued, though there were scattered reports of increased wage pressures.” the report further said.

Weak growth data however, has raised doubts over the Fed’s interest rates hike this year.