Beige Book: Economic activity expands despite uncertainty

Economic activity expanded at a moderate pace between February and mid-April, though outlooks for future growth remained uncertain, given current geopolitical and inflation conditions, according to the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book release of the year.

Consumer spending picked up during the survey period, and manufacturing activity remained solid overall—though districts did note that supply chain backlogs, persistent tight labor market conditions and other factors continued to affect firms’ ability to meet demand. Commercial real estate activity saw modest acceleration and residential real estate demand remained strong, though supply was limited. Agricultural conditions were mixed, the Fed said.

Districts continued to report that inflationary pressures remained strong, prompting price increases, and a few districts noted that sales were being negatively affected by rising prices. Businesses in most districts said they expect inflationary pressures to continue in the months ahead.