Fed Beige Book: Economic activity grew at a modest to moderate pace in most Fed districts in Oct & Nov

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According to the Fed’s Beige Book, which was prepared by the Chicago Fed based on information collected on or before 19 November, said that economic activity grew at a modest to moderate pace in most Federal Reserve districts during October and early November.

Additional Takeaways: 

“The outlook for overall activity remained positive in most districts, but some noted uncertainty about when supply chain and labor supply challenges would ease.”

“Employment growth ranged from modest to strong across Federal Reserve districts.”

“Prices rose at a moderate to robust pace, with price hikes widespread across sectors of the economy.”

“There were wide-ranging input cost increases stemming from strong demand for raw materials, logistical challenges, and labor market tightness.”

“Wider availability of some inputs, notably semiconductors and certain steel products, led to easing of some price pressures.”

“Strong demand generally allowed firms to raise prices with little pushback, though contractual obligations held back some firms from increasing prices.”

“Leisure and hospitality and manufacturing contacts reported an uptick in employment, but many were still limiting operating hours due to a lack of workers.”

“Contacts in several other sectors also noted labor-related constraints on meeting demand.”

“Childcare, retirements, and Covid-19 safety concerns were widely cited as sources that limited labor supply.”

“Loan demand increased in almost all districts.”

“Many districts noted concerns that the federal vaccination mandate could exacerbate existing hiring difficulties.”

“Nearly all districts reported robust wage growth.”

“Hiring struggles and elevated turnover rates led businesses to raise wages and offer other incentives, such as bonuses and more flexible working arrangements.”