The U.S. economy continued to expand between February and early April, “modest to moderate”, according to data analyzed by the Federal Reserve (Fed) in its Beige Book, which analyzes recent developments in twelve districts.
“The hiring of new employees were stable or showed a slight increase in nine of the twelve districts surveyed,” said the central bank’s report.
Unemployment is a major concern of U.S. citizens, whose rate in March stood at 8.2%, a figure worse than expected by analysts.
The Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, said recently that need a higher rate of economic growth for a “significant” decline in unemployment.
Both manufacturing and services and sales of industrial goods and automobiles showed an increase in activity throughout the country.
The regions expressed a “strong” improvement of economic conditions were Minneapolis, Kansas, Philadelphia and Richmond.
In the financial area, the demand for credit has also increased, especially in New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Chicago, Kansas City, Dallas and San Francisco.
Businesses indicated in the report, which compiles data from mid-February to early April, some concern about rising fuel prices.
“Although short-term prospects are encouraging domestic spending, contacts in several regions expressed concern that the rising price of gasoline may limit discretionary spending in the coming months,” said the Fed
However, general inflation and wage pressures appear to be “controlled”.
Data from the “Beige Book” will be reviewed by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, who heads the U.S. monetary policy at its next meeting on 24 and 25 April.
Category: Personal Finance