A moderate rate of growth was recorded for the US economy during April and late May 2012 according to the Federal Reserve’s “Beige Book.” The growth occurred despite the concerns of employers about the economic mess in Europe and political uncertainty here in the United States reported the Wall Street Journal.
The Federal Reserve said that growth occurred in all 12 districts of the Fed based on anecdotal reporting from business contacts and economists queried in all parts of the nation.
Hiring continued at a steady pace with manufacturing expanding in most districts. The Fed also noted that there was great strength in steel and car manufacturing.
The data from the 12 districts was prepared by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The information collected before May 25 is an economic snapshot compiled into what is called the Beige Book. The information contained in the book will be the basis for discussions at the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting scheduled for June 19 through the 20th.
The data in the report appears to soften the implications of the jobs report of last week that indicated only 67,000 new jobs were added and unemployment crept up to 8.2 percent. According to the Fed, the labor market as it relates to hiring is holding steady or modestly improving in the following sectors:
- Information technology
The report mentioned that many sectors of the economy were improving or showing steady growth including:
- Consumer spending
- Loan demand
- Credit Conditions
- Travel and tourism
- Residential and commercial real estate
Also noted by the Federal Reserve were that over all, price inflation and wage pressures were modest and that cost pressures were lessened due to the decline in energy prices.
Yet the Fed may conclude that additional steps to support the economic recovery in the United States may be needed due to increasing concerns over unrest in the European economy and its potential to negatively affect the US recovery.
Overall, the economic picture as presented in today’s Fed report is less bleak than many expected. Certainly it is a relief to the Obama campaign and possible a disappointment to the Romney campaign that would have used a negative report as fodder for attacks on the current administration.