Economic activity expanded at a measured pace in recent weeks, according to reports from the 12 Federal Reserve Districts in the latest Beige Book report. All districts grew at a modest pace except for St. Louis and Minneapolis with somewhat stronger increases and Boston reporting a slower rate of growth.
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Consumer spending grew at a moderate pace in most Districts, while manufacturing weakened, on balance. Seven of the 12 Districts reported either slowing or outright contraction in manufacturing, and two others gave mixed reports. Automobile sales varied by District.
Hurricane disruptions slowed freight shipments in some Districts while boosting demand for shipments of emergency supplies.
Overall, markets for single-family homes continued to improve across most Districts with the exception of Boston and Philadelphia. Construction and commercial real estate activity generally improved across Districts.
Reports on agricultural conditions were mixed, as drought conditions persisted in several Districts. In the energy sector, extraction expanded on balance in San Francisco and activity remained at high levels in the Minneapolis and Dallas Districts.
Most Districts reported modest gains in hiring, while wage and price pressures remained mostly subdued. Employment increased in more than half of the 12 Districts.
Price increases were mostly in line with the modest pace reported in the last assessment.