The latest Fed’s Beige Book report indicates general slowdown in economic activity, with variations across different regions. Specifically, four districts reported “modest growth”, two districts experienced “flat to slightly down”, and six districts observed “slight declines” in activity.
This mixed picture reflects the diverse economic conditions across the country and points to a cautious economic outlook for the next six to twelve months, which is perceived to have “diminished” during the reporting period.
In terms of labor market dynamics, demand for labor “continued to ease”. Most districts reported either flat or modest increases in overall employment. Wage growth across most districts was characterized as “modest to moderate”. Notably, the report highlights “easing in wage pressures”, with several districts even reporting declines in starting wages. This trend could be a response to the overall economic slowdown and a signal of less competition for labor.
Regarding prices, the report notes a general moderation in price increases across districts, although prices remain at elevated levels. The expectation is for “moderate price increases to continue into next year”.