Beige Book: Economic Activity Expanding at a Slight to Moderate Pace

Economic activity continued to expand at a slight to moderate pace across the twelve Federal Reserve Districts in June, according to the just-released Federal Reserve Beige Book.

Consumer spending softened this period, particularly in auto retail sales which declined in half of the Districts. Manufacturing and non-financial services continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace across the Districts. Agricultural conditions were mixed as regions reported varying moisture conditions. Energy activity improved since the most recent Beige Book, driven by growth in oil and natural gas but somewhat offset by sluggish coal production.

Employment expanded across most Districts at a modest to moderate pace. Labor markets once again remained tight, and employers in most Districts continued to report greater difficulty attracting and retaining qualified workers.

Modest to moderate wage growth was seen in most Districts, with many reporting tight labor market conditions driving wage gains. Prices increased modestly in the majority of districts. Several Districts reported higher construction materials costs but lower gasoline and agricultural prices.

Read the full Federal Reserve report.