The Beige Book is published two weeks before each meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee that sets policies.
Steady consumer spending and stabilising manufacturing activity made the US economy resilient to start the year, survey respondents said in the Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book. “Overall economic activity increased slightly in early 2023….Amid heightened uncertainty, contacts did not expect economic conditions to improve much in the months ahead,” it said
US firms indicated persistent price pressures, though some were abating. Several districts noted continued wage growth as well.
Supply-chain issues eased in many districts, which reported relief in some transportation costs. Firms said labor availability was slightly improving, but finding workers with the right skills or experience was a challenge.
A few districts witnessed ‘moderate to strong’ retail sales growth. US consumers remained robust at the start of the year, bolstered by the ample availability of jobs, retail sales and inflation data showed.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)