The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Federal Reserve: Modest Economic Growth

Most of 12 districts report moderate economic growth.

Reports from the 12 Federal Reserve Districts described modest economic growth since the last Beige Book report.

Economic activity in April through mid-May increased at a moderate pace in the San Francisco district, while modest growth was reported by Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, and Minneapolis. Chicago noted that the pace of growth slowed, as did Kansas City. Dallas reported that economic activity grew marginally, while New York characterized activity as generally flat since the last report. Several districts noted that contacts had generally optimistic outlooks, with firms expecting growth either to continue at its current pace or to increase.

Manufacturing activity was mixed across districts in April through mid-May. Richmond reported that activity increased on balance, and Atlanta noted that it remained strong. Reports indicated a modest increase in manufacturing output in Cleveland, Chicago, and Minneapolis, and the manufacturing sector in Dallas grew slightly. Activity was flat in San Francisco and fell in New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Kansas City. The outlook for manufacturing improved since the last report in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta, and Kansas City; outlooks in Boston and St. Louis were also positive.

Crop conditions were promising in many districts, but low commodity prices continued to put pressure on agricultural incomes. The energy sector remained weak. Employment grew modestly since the last report, but tight labor markets were widely noted; wages grew modestly, and price pressure grew slightly in most Districts.

Construction and real estate activity generally expanded since the last report, and the overall outlook among contacts remained positive. Residential construction increased in most districts but was mixed in Richmond and Dallas, where some markets saw a decline in single-family construction.

Consumer spending was up modestly on balance in many districts, though contacts in the Boston, Cleveland, Minneapolis, and Dallas districts reported mixed or flat activity, and New York reported weakened sales. Overall loan demand was up moderately in all but one of the Districts that reported it, and many districts reported steady to good credit availability.

Many districts reported modest growth in nonfinancial services.

Crop conditions were promising in many districts, but low commodity prices continued to put pressure on agricultural incomes.

Employment grew modestly since the last report, but tight labor markets were widely noted; wages grew modestly, and price pressure grew slightly in most districts. The energy sector remained weak.

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