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Little Growth Expected in the Coming Months: Fed's Beige Book

"Little growth in the months ahead" is the general expectation among American businesses, according to the Federal Reserve Beige Book survey released on Wednesday.

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Economic activity in most of the 12 Fed districts over the past six weeks showed slight increases or declines in activity. Only one regional bank, the New York Fed, reported a significant decrease in activity.

Bright Spot in Labor Market

The labor market was bright, with all but a few districts reporting that job growth continued. Firms still reported needing help filling open positions. Many firms were hesitant to lay off employees. They planned to reduce headcount through attrition if required.

The Beige Book
The Beige Book

Moderate Inflation, Greater Price Sensitivity Among Consumers

On the inflation front, most districts' selling prices increased at a moderate pace, although many said the increases had slowed in recent months. Retailers reported "increased difficulty in passing through cost increases, suggesting greater price sensitivity on the part of consumers," the survey found. "On balance, contacts across districts said they expected future price growth to moderate further in the year ahead," the Beige Book said.