The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, released today indicated that economic expansion is continuing at a “modest to moderate pace.” The release, which covers from mid-February through late March, was more positive than a February release that reported “modest growth.” Reports from Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco all indicated moderate growth, while Cleveland and St. Louis only reported modest growth.
The report noted that hiring was “steady or showed a modest increase.” This stands in contrast to March’s jobs report, which indicated a slowdown in job creation. Many districts are reporting difficulty filling qualified workers for high-skilled positions.
Rising gasoline prices presented some cause for concern, however, reports on retail spending remained positive.
Banking conditions remained “stable,” according to the report, with modest improvements in demand for loans. Consumer lending was stable or increased modestly in a few districts. Several districts reported improving credit quality, with delinquencies continuing to decline.
Read the release.