Beige Book shows slight economic growth across US

Written by Laura Miller

Economic growth was modest, at best, from April through early May in most economic districts observed by the Federal Reserve.

The Fed’s May 29 Beige Book report said growth was slight or modest in 10 of its 12 districts and flat in the other districts since its last report.

“Overall outlooks grew somewhat more pessimistic amid reports of rising uncertainty and greater downside risks,” the Fed said in May’s report, noting that high interest rates and tight credit standards continue to stunt growth.

Economic activity increased slightly in the Chicago district, and contacts generally expect a similar growth rate for the next year.

Manufacturing in the Chicago district decreased slightly in the period. Steel volumes were flat, and a slowdown in the heavy machinery sector was noted by contacts.

Several manufacturers in the Chicago district “reported that high borrowing costs led them to delay planned expansions or to purchase used equipment rather than new,” according to the report.

In the Dallas district, in which the entire state of Texas is included, economic activity was flat or slightly up in the reporting period.

The outlook of manufacturers in the Dallas district worsened slightly, “weighed down by waning consumer confidence and election uncertainty.”

Activity in the Cleveland district expanded slightly, but contacts expect slower growth to continue in the coming months. At the same time, manufacturers in the district generally anticipate a slight increase in demand,

The Beige Book provides a summary of commentary on current economic conditions across the 12 Federal Reserve districts. It really is a book – it has a ton of information in it. Check out the report if you’d like to take a deeper dive into economic activity across the country.

Laura Miller

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