WASHINGTON, D.C: The US economy expanded at a “modest” pace in between July and late August while some slowing was recorded in two regions, the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book survey said on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).
Comments from business contacts, economists and others across the country indicated they expect the economy to grow at a “moderate” pace in the coming months; they also said that wage pressures have been “moderate” and price increases “slight.”
The Kansas City and New York regions reported that economic activity was unchanged but Philadelphia and Richmond said that, while growth was still expanding, it had slowed.
“Overall consumer spending was little changed in most districts,” the report said. “Manufacturing activity rose slightly in most districts.”
The comments come as a decision on whether to raise US interest rates looms later this month. The Fed has abandoned prior plans for steady increases this year in favor of a wait-and-see approach, monitoring economic performance.
But ambiguous economic data have created controversy over whether a rate rise is appropriate. US job creation in August slowed considerably to a weaker-than-expected 151,000 positions added.
US equities markets appeared indifferent to the report, remaining in negative territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average of blue chip stocks was down less than 0.2 percent on yesterday’s close.