Federal Reserve: Economic Activity Expands - Modern Distribution Management

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Federal Reserve: Economic Activity Expands

Most of 12 districts report modest to moderate economic growth.

Reports from the 12 Federal Reserve Districts suggest national economic activity continued to expand since the last Beige Book report.

Economic activity from late August to early October increased at a modest or moderate pace in most districts; however, the New York district reported no change in overall activity. Compared with the previous report, the pace of growth improved in the St. Louis, Kansas City and Dallas districts. Outlooks were mostly positive, with growth expected to continue at a slight to moderate pace in several districts.

Manufacturing activity was mixed, and the strong dollar continued to dampen exports of manufactured goods according to a few district reports.

Most regions saw an uptick in retail spending, and outlooks were for modest growth in the months ahead. Reports on auto sales and tourism varied across districts. Demand for nonfinancial services generally increased, and staffing firms noted steady or higher demand.

Residential construction and real estate activity expanded further, although low home inventories continued to constrain sales in a few districts. Home price appreciation continued at a modest pace in general, and commercial real estate activity and construction improved since the last report. Demand for business and consumer loans increased, aside from some seasonal slowing, and credit quality remained strong or improved.

Agricultural conditions were mixed, as low commodity prices pressured farm revenues despite generally strong crop yields. There were signs of stabilization in the oil and natural gas sector, while reports of coal production were mixed.

Labor market conditions remained tight, with modest employment and wage growth noted over the reporting period. Most districts characterized input costs and/or output prices as fairly flat, but prices increased slightly on net.

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