Overall Economic Activity
Economic activity increased in most of the U.S., with eight of twelve Federal Reserve Districts reporting modest to moderate growth. Nonauto retail sales grew modestly, as several Districts reported more holiday traffic compared with last year. Auto sales were flat on balance. The majority of Districts indicated that manufacturing expanded, but that growth had slowed, particularly in the auto and energy sectors. New home construction and existing home sales were little changed, with several Districts reporting that sales were limited by rising prices and low inventory. Commercial real estate activity was also little changed on balance. Most Districts reported modest to moderate growth in activity in the nonfinancial services sector, though a few Districts noted that growth there had slowed. The energy sector expanded at a slower pace, and lower energy prices contributed to a pullback in the industry’s capital spending expectations.
The agriculture sector struggled as prices generally remained low despite recent increases. Overall, lending volumes grew modestly, though a few Districts noted that growth had slowed. Outlooks generally remained positive, but many Districts reported that contacts had become less optimistic in response to increased financial market volatility, rising short-term interest rates, falling energy prices, and elevated trade and political uncertainty.
Employment and Wages
Employment increased in most of the country, with a plurality of Districts reporting modest growth. All Districts noted that labor markets were tight and that firms were struggling to find workers at any skill level. Minneapolis indicated that construction firms had turned down business because they could not find workers, and Atlanta reported that a few contacts were either actively overstaffing or retaining employees through lulls in demand in anticipation of future growth. Wages grew throughout the country, with the majority of Districts reporting moderate gains. Wages increased across skill levels, and numerous Districts highlighted rising entry-level wages as firms sought to attract and retain workers and as new minimum wage laws came into effect.
The majority of Districts reported modest to moderate increases in prices. Most Districts indicated that firms’input costs had risen, but reports were mixed on whether they could pass the higher costs on to customers. Reports often cited rising materials and freight prices as sources of cost increases, and a number of Districts said that higher tariffs were also a factor. While prices of most inputs were up, several Districts noted that fuel costs had gone down. A number of Districts reported rising home prices, while prices for commercial and industrial space either increased or were flat. Prices for agricultural commodities were generally somewhat higher.
金融市場のボラティリティーの高まりや短期金利の上昇、 エネルギー価格の下落、 通商と政治を巡る不透明感の高まりを反映して楽観的な見解が少な くなったと、多くの地区連銀が報告した」と記述された。
シカゴ連銀が作成した今回のベージュブックによれば、 大半の地区で製造業とエネルギー業界の活動が鈍化し、 数地区で金融以外のサービス業が減速した。
企業はどの技能水準の労働者でも確保に苦慮していると報告した」 と記述。賃金は全米のあらゆる技能レベルで上昇したとし、 大半の地区が報酬の緩やかな上昇を指摘したという。 過半数の地区は全般的な物価が「緩慢ないし緩やか」 に上昇したと報告した。』
ここから先は Shortman会員 限定です。