Beige Book Sees Modest Jobs and Wage Growth

The Beige Book, prepared for the Dec. 13 -14 Federal Open Market Committee meeting, noted the economy expanded at a modest to moderate pace in most regions from early October through mid-November, as expected. Seven of the 12 Districts reported a tighter labor market, amid modest employment growth on balance. Most regions witnessed increases in staffing activity. Wage growth was generally modest. Demand for manufactured products was mixed, with the strong dollar a headwind to more robust demand in some Districts. Vehicle sales declined slightly. Business service firms saw rising activity, especially for IT and high-tech services. Nonfinancial services also experienced some growth. Real estate and construction generally improved too. And overall, there was some “slight” price growth over the survey period (data collected before Nov. 18, with the report prepared by the Cleveland Fed).

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