Federal Reserve's Beige Book Shows Growing US Economy

Published by: Frank Galvano on 3rd Mar 2011 | View all blogs by Frank Galvano
Federal Reserve's Beige Book Shows Growing US Economy

The Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that the US economy is growing at a pace it called “modest to moderate.”  This despite rising prices for businesses and consumers alike, reserved hiring, stagnant wages, and a housing market that continues to struggle.  The central bank issued the upbeat sentiment in its Beige Book report.

According to the report, manufacturers and retailers across all twelve of the Fed's districts are reporting higher input costs, which should be expected considering prices are climbing in recent weeks on everything from oil to food.  But while most businesses report that they are passing on those higher prices to consumers, homebuilders are not, seemingly because of the continued struggle's of the nation's housing market.

Construction, both residential and commercial, continues to be one of the slower segments of the US economy, remaining depressed while other segments such as manufacturing, retail, and the financial sector enjoy modest levels of growth.  Financing is still difficult to obtain, meanwhile, ans some banks are even adopting tougher standards.

The Fed's report showed minimal evidence of rising wages in the majority of the 12 districts.  The report mirrors comments made by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke last week, when he told Congress that higher prices are reaching consumers, but not yet at a level significant enough to hinder the overall economic recovery.  The Beige Book is published eight times each year and provides a summary of economic conditions across the Federal Reserve's 12 districts.

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