Fed's Beige Book: Overall outlook was modestly optimistic


Employment in the twelve Fed districts increased overall with gains in manufacturing cited most often, the US Federal Reserve noted in its Beige Book.

Additional takeaways as summarized by Reuters

"Some districts also reported slowing job growth and increased hiring volatility, particularly in service industries, with rising instances of furloughed workers being laid off permanently as demand remained soft."

"Firms continued to experience difficulty finding necessary labor, a matter compounded by daycare availability, as well as uncertainty over the coming school year and jobless benefits."

"Economic activity increased among most districts, but gains were generally modest, activity remained well below pre-crisis levels."

"Manufacturing rose in most districts, consumer spending continued to pick up."

"Wages were flat to slightly higher in most districts with greater pressure cited among lower-paying positions."

"Some firms also rescinded previous pay cuts."

"Residential construction was a bright spot."

"Overall outlook among contacts was modestly optimistic but a few districts noted some pessimism."

"Other firms have looked to roll back hazard pay for high-exposure jobs, though some have chosen not to do so for staff morale and recruitment purpose."

"Input prices generally rose faster than selling prices but were moderate overall."

"Price pressures increased since the last report but remained modest."

"Notable exceptions included inputs experiencing demand surges or supply-chain disruptions, such as structural lumber, for which prices spiked."

"Several districts also reported that costs for personal protective equipment and inputs to it remained elevated."

"Freight transportation rates rose in several districts due to a resurgence in demand."

Market reaction

The US Dollar Index edged slightly higher on these remarks and was last seen gaining 0.53% n the day at 92.81.

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