Economic activity grew at a modest to moderate rate from August to early October, but in some parts of the country growth slowed due to supply chain disruptions, labor shortages and uncertainty around the Delta variant of COVID-19, according to the Federal Reserve’s seventh Beige Book release of the year. The report was based on information collected through Oct. 8.
Loan demand was generally reported as flat to modest and residential real estate activity was unchanged or slowed slightly, but remained healthy overall, the Fed noted. Most districts reported growth in consumer spending, but auto sales declined on low inventory and rising prices.
In most districts, prices were significantly elevated, the Fed said, fueled by rising demand for goods and raw materials. The outlook for near-term economic activity continues to be positive, according to the report, but some districts said there is increased uncertainty and more cautious optimism than in previous months.