Fed's Beige Book: US economic expansion continues amid modest price increases


(MENAFN) In its latest release on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve reported ongoing economic expansion in the United States from early April to mid-May, accompanied by modest price increases. The Beige Book, which compiles insights on current economic conditions from the Fed's 12 districts nationwide, highlighted various trends shaping the economic landscape.

According to the report, retail spending remained relatively flat or saw slight increases, reflecting reduced discretionary spending and heightened price sensitivity among consumers. However, the travel and tourism industries experienced notable strength, driven by increased leisure and business travel. Despite this positive momentum, the hospitality sector's outlook for the upcoming summer season appears mixed.

While lending growth remained constrained by high interest rates, there were modest increases in housing demand and single-family construction. However, rising mortgage rates have started to impact sales activity, posing challenges for the housing market.

The report also noted a growing sense of pessimism among economic outlooks, attributed to rising uncertainty and greater downside risks. American consumers have pushed back against additional price increases, prompting retail sectors to offer discounts to attract customers. Despite this, price growth is expected to continue at a modest pace in the near term, according to the Beige Book's projections.

Overall, the Beige Book offers insights into the ongoing economic trends and challenges facing the US economy, highlighting the delicate balance between expansionary momentum and inflationary pressures.

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