Economic activity continued to expand at a modest pace across most of the twelve Federal Reserve Districts over the period from late-November to the end of the year, according to the just-released Federal Reserve Beige Book. Most Federal Reserve Districts reported “moderate” or “modest” growth.
Consumer spending was mostly positive this period. Most Districts reported expanded retail sales, but several noted that sales over the holiday season were disappointing. Manufacturers in most Districts reported increased sales, a turnaround from earlier in the year. Firms across the country and industries were optimistic about growth in 2017.
Employment continued to expand during the period, with the reporting of tight or tightening labor markets. Most Districts saw employment rise at a slight to moderate pace. Wage growth was characterized generally as modest across the Districts, while there was modest price growth during the period, intensifying somewhat since the last report.
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