Fed's Beige Book: Economic activity increased in almost all districts

Economic activity increased in almost all districts but remained well below where it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Federal Reserve noted in its Beige Book.

Additional takeaways

"Consumer spending picked up as many nonessential businesses were allowed to reopen."

"Retail sales rose in all districts, led by a rebound in vehicle sales."

"Demand for professional and business services increased in most districts but was still weak."

"Loan demand was flat outside of some Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) activity and increased residential mortgages."

"Outlooks remained highly uncertain, as contacts grappled with how long the pandemic would continue and the magnitude of its implications."

"Employment increased in all districts as businesses reopened or increased activity, gains in retail and hospitality highlighted."

"Contacts across districts largely reported both input and selling prices were flat."

"Job turnover rates remained high with districts reporting new layoffs."

"Contacts in several districts reported that supply chain challenges were pushing up prices for health and safety equipment."

"There were also reports of rising food and beverage prices, particularly for beef."

"When selling prices changed, decreases outnumbered increases, as contacts in several districts cited weak demand and limited pricing power."

Market reaction

The US Dollar Index largely ignored these remarks and was last seen losing 0.1% on the day at 96.09. Meanwhile, Wall Street's main indexes were up between 0.67% and 1%, reflecting a slight improvement in risk sentiment.

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