Friday, November 28th2.6°C
22246
22916

Fed survey: US economy is improving across the country, helped by warmer weather

WASHINGTON - A Federal Reserve survey shows the U.S. economy strengthening over the past two months in areas from manufacturing and construction to retail sales and bank lending.

Seven of the Fed's 12 regions — Boston, New York, Richmond, Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas and San Francisco — reported "moderate" growth during the early spring, while the remaining five described growth as "modest," according to the Beige Book survey released Wednesday.

Retail sales were reviving, helped by pent-up demand for new cars after the harsh winter, the survey found. Manufacturing was expanding in all regions, along with lending. One weakness was home sales, held back in large part by a tight supply of available homes.

The Beige Book is based on anecdotal reports from businesses and will be considered along with other data when Fed policymakers meet June 17-18.

Nothing in the report is likely to alter the widespread view that the Fed thinks the economy is reviving after a winter slowdown.

"The picture painted by the collective anecdotes in today's Beige Book may not illustrate robust growth, but it suggests the economy is at least moving in the right direction," said Dana Saporta, an economist at Credit Suisse.

Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, said it marked the 24th time out of 28 reports going back to early 2011 that the Fed has used "modest," ''moderate" or often both words to describe the economy.

Economists generally believe the Fed in June will pare its pace of monthly bond purchases by another $10 billion and pledge to keep its key short-term interest rate at a record low near zero for a "considerable" period after its bond purchases end.

Beginning in December, the Fed has been reducing its bond purchases, which were designed to keep long-term rates low to spur spending and economic growth. The purchases, now at $45 billion a month, will likely be phased out entirely this fall.

The Beige Book suggests that despite the spring rebound in activity, inflation remains contained and wage pressures subdued. Low inflation has given the Fed the leeway to keep interest rates exceptionally low to try to boost growth and lower unemployment.

The Fed survey said the job market in much of the country has improved since its last Beige Book. Cleveland and Chicago reported increased demand for temporary workers. Several districts reported that employers were having trouble finding skilled workers.

Manufacturing activity expanded in all 12 districts, with robust gains reported in the Boston, New York, Atlanta and Kansas City districts. Growth was especially strong at factories connected to the auto, aerospace and metal industries.

Two-thirds of the Fed's districts reported rising demand for bank loans. Particular strength was seen in New York and San Francisco. Demand for auto loans was strong, coinciding with reports of robust new-car sales.

But the Boston, New York and Kansas City regions reported that home sales were being held back by low or dwindling supplies of available homes. Other regions also described availability as low.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said that the Fed is monitoring conditions for any signs that the housing recovery is faltering.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

23967


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14922.44-115.97
S&P CDNX755.45-15.61
DJIA17827.7512.81
Nasdaq4787.317+29.065
S&P 5002072.83+5.80
CDN Dollar0.8776-0.0041
Gold1181.00-15.60
Oil68.95-4.74
Lumber327.90-1.60
Natural Gas4.295+0.144

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.15-0.01
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.340.00
Cantex0.04-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.171-0.004
Metalex Ventures0.04+0.005
Russel Metals30.70-0.80
Copper Mountain Mining2.12-0.04
Colorado Resources0.13+0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.0134-0.0001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.045-0.005
Mission Ready Services0.32-0.02

 
23744




FEATURED Property
8519974377 Wallace Hill Road
3 bedrooms 3 baths
$1,750,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Second marriage issues

It is not unusual that one or both of the parties planning to marry are approaching marriage for the second time. There are pluses and minuses to this new situation. On the plus side, individuals ente...


The last great Canadian tax shelter

A guide to how flow-through fund limited partnerships can mightily aid your tax planning!The end of the year will raise concerns among many professionals, self-employed persons, business owners and ev...


What I learned in China: Part 2

As per my previous article on my visit to China, we have much to learn about and from their people. It is potentially the largest market on earth with 1.3 billion people in one country but much will d...

_



24185

24207


Member of BC Press Council


22632