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Financial News: Fed's Beige Book Says U.S. Economy Continues To

Fed's Beige Book Says U.S. Economy Continues To Expand At Modest Pace

11/27/2019 - 14:18:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - U.S. economic activity expanded modestly from October through mid-November, according to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book.

The Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions in the twelve Fed districts, noted economic growth continued at a similar pace to the prior reporting period.

The report is typically released about two weeks before the next monetary policy meeting and will be used by Fed officials to make their decision on interest rates at a meeting set for December 10-11.

The central bank is widely expected to leave rates unchanged after three straight rate cuts, with CME Group's FedWatch Tool currently indicating a 94.8 percent chance the Fed will keep rates unchanged.

The Fed said most districts reported stable to moderately growing consumer spending, with several districts seeing increases in auto sales and tourism.

Meanwhile, a majority of districts continued to experience no growth in manufacturing, although more districts reported an expansion in the current period than the previous one.

The Beige Book said employment continued to rise slightly overall, even as labor markets remained tight across the U.S.

Several districts noted relatively strong job gains in professional and technical services as well as healthcare, the Fed added.

With regard to inflation, the report noted that prices rose at a modest pace during the reporting period, as firms' ability to raise prices to cover higher costs remained limited.

However, a few districts noted that companies affected by higher tariffs were more inclined to pass the cost increases on to customers.

The Beige Book said the outlooks generally remained positive, with some contacts expecting the current pace of growth to continue into next year.

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