Fed’s Beige Book economic report noted that “economic activity declined in all districts – falling sharply in most – reflecting disruptions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.” Although many contacts expressed hope that overall activity would pick-up as businesses reopened, “the outlook remained highly uncertain and most contacts were pessimistic about the potential pace of recovery.”
Employment continued to “decrease in all Districts”. There were “challenges in bringing employees back to work”. Overall wage pressures were “mixed” as some firms cut wages while others implemented temporary wage increases for essential staff or to compete with unemployment insurance.
Pricing pressure varied but were “steady to down modestly on balance”. Weak demand weighed on selling prices. Several Districts also reported low commodity prices. But “supply chain disruptions and strong demand led to higher prices for some grocery items”.