Fed’s Beige Book Shows Economic Optimism Despite Shutdown
Once again, “modest to moderate” are the two adjectives employed by policymakers at the United States Federal Reserve to describe the recovery of the American economy thus far. Gathering anecdotal information from the 12 regional banks, the Fed’s survey of regional economic conditions from September through October 7 showed that most districts reported steady growth rates, consistent with levels experienced over the summer, but four districts — Philadelphia, Richmond, Chicago, and Kansas City — said that growth had slowed. Contacts in all districts “generally remained cautiously optimistic in their outlook for future economic activity,” and while indicators were still somewhat mixed, the trend was clear: conditions are improving, or at least not becoming worse.
But still, contacts in many districts noted “an increase in uncertainty due largely to the federal government shutdown and debt ceiling debate.”