Fed ‘Beige Book’: U.S. economy expanded at a “modest to moderate” pace
Washington Gridlock Increases Economic Uncertainty
WASHINGTON—The U.S. economy expanded at a “modest to moderate” pace in recent months, though uncertainty from fiscal deadlock in Washington was felt throughout the country, according to the Federal Reserve’s survey of regional economic conditions.
The central bank’s “beige book” report, released Wednesday, found eight of 12 districts reporting steady growth rates from the summer and four districts indicating slower expansion.
“Contacts across districts generally remained cautiously optimistic in their outlook for future economic activity,” the report said.
Still, “many also noted an increase in uncertainty due largely to the federal government shutdown and debt-ceiling debate.”
The economic snapshot was prepared by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and is based on anecdotal information from other regional banks gathered through Oct. 7. It comes two weeks before the Fed’s Oct. 29 and 30 policy meeting and may be one of a diminished number of data points the central bank has to determine the state of the economy. The partial government shutdown since Oct. 1 has shuttered the agencies that produce major economic reports. Already, the Labor and Commerce departments have postponed publishing data covering employment, inflation from consumer-price data, and retail sales, among others.