Economic activity continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace across the twelve Federal Reserve Districts over the period from January to mid-February, according to the just-released Federal Reserve Beige Book.
Consumer spending expanded at a moderate pace this period. Most Districts reported expanded retail sales at a subdued pace, with numerous Districts reporting an ongoing shift from purchases made in-store to those made online. Manufacturers in most Districts reported accelerated activity, although at a moderate pace. Firms across the country and industries were still optimistic about growth in the coming months, but less so than the prior report.
Some Districts reported widening labor shortages as labor markets remained tight to start the year. Most Districts saw employment rise at a moderate pace. Wage growth was characterized generally as modest or moderate across the Districts, while price growth was little changed from the prior period.
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