Beige Book: Economic activity increased slightly

  • Consumer spending, particularly on retail goods, inched down in recent weeks
  • Several reports cited heightened price sensitivity by consumers
  • Demand for restaurants, hotels, and other establishments softened due to elevated prices, as well as to unusual weather conditions in certain regions
  • Manufacturing activity was largely unchanged
  • Several reports highlighted a pickup in demand for residential real estate in recent weeks
  • Commercial real estate activity was weak, particularly for office space
  • Loan demand was stable to down
  • The outlook for future economic growth remained generally positive
  • Full text

There are no big surprises at first blush. Here is the commentary on prices:

Price pressures persisted during the reporting period, but several Districts reported some degree of moderation in inflation. Contacts highlighted increases in freight costs and several insurance categories, including employer-sponsored health insurance. Nevertheless, businesses found it harder to pass through higher costs to their customers, who became increasingly sensitive to price changes. The cost of many manufacturing and construction inputs, such as steel, cement, paper, and fuel, reportedly fell in recent weeks.

I think the Fed will be happy to hear that.

This article was written by Adam Button at Source