Overall economic activity expanded at a modest to moderate pace across all 12 Federal Reserve Districts in July and August, according to The Beige Book released on Sept. 6.
The Beige Book is a Federal Reserve System publication about current economic conditions in the 12 Federal Reserve Districts. The data in this issue was collected primarily before Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas.
Here’s a look at what’s inside the latest Beige Book.
On the plus side:
- Gains were reported for non-auto retail sales and tourism.
- Capital spending increased in several districts.
- Residential and commercial construction increased slightly.
- Manufacturing activity expanded.
- There was positive activity in the energy and natural resources sector.
On the fence
- Vehicle sales were mixed.
- Agricultural conditions were mixed with drought conditions reported in multiple districts.
Employment and wages
- Employment growth slowed and labor markets are tight with reports of worker shortages in manufacturing and construction.
- There was modest to moderate wage growth across majority of districts with limited wage pressure.
- Prices rose modestly overall across the country.
- Input and material costs generally increased, notably for freight, lumber and steel.
- Movements in energy and agriculture were mixed.
- Home prices increased overall.
Source: The Beige Book