Beige Book: Economic Activity Hampered by Labor Shortages, Supply Chain Issues

Economic activity grew at a modest pace in the final weeks of 2021 as many parts of the country reported constrained growth due to supply chain disruptions and labor shortages, according to the Federal Reserve’s first Beige Book release of the year. The report was based on information collected through Jan. 3.

Lending activity picked up slightly toward the end of the year, led by commercial real estate borrowers, the Fed noted. Most districts reported a sudden pull-back in leisure travel, hotel occupancy and patronage at restaurants as the number of new COVID-19 cases rose.

Increased wholesale and materials prices contributed to pricing pressures across a wide range of industries, the Fed said. Optimism remained high generally, according to the report, but several parts of the country reported that businesses expect growth to cool over the next several months.