Beige Book: Economic expansion generally moderate, 4 districts experiencing little or no growth

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Economic growth was “modest or moderate” across most of the country, while four districts saw “little or no growth,” according to the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, released Wednesday.

“Philadelphia and three of the four districts in the Midwest observed that activity began to slow in early November as COVID-19 cases increased,” according to the report.

“Companies that were hiring continued to report difficulty attracting and retaining workers,” the Federal Reserve’s latest beige book said.

Bloomberg News

While the outlook was generally “positive”, according to the report, “optimism has faded”, with concerns over the surge in coronavirus cases, “restrictions imposed (both recent and prospective) and expiry dates impending unemployment benefits and moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures,” notes the Beige Book.

Businesses reported continued difficulties in finding and retaining workers.

“Many contacts noted that the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases has precipitated more school and factory closures and reignited fears of infection, further exacerbating labor supply issues. work, including absenteeism and attrition,” the report adds. “Supporting childcare and virtual schooling needs has been widely cited as a significant and growing issue for the workforce, especially for women, prompting some companies to expand arrangements for flexible working hours.”

Harker on the virus
“The three most important things affecting the economy are: virus, virus, virus,” Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Patrick Harker said during a virtual gathering of alumni of the Wharton School, according to a text published by the Fed.

“The resurgence of COVID-19 is sure to have an economic effect, both as local governments introduce measures to curb the spread and as consumers change their behavior,” he said. “That last one is a crucial point that sometimes gets lost.”

The economy is expected to grow moderately, but below pre-pandemic levels, in the first three months of 2021, accelerating later in the year following the introduction of the vaccine.

The lending facilities that the Fed introduced earlier this year, Harker said, “should remain open past the end of this year. Until we get through this pandemic, the economy needs to be supported. At this point, the fewer changes we make to our facility loans, the better.”

ADP jobs
Private payrolls rose by 307,000 in November, after rising by 404,000 in September, initially reported as a jump of 365,000, ADP said on Wednesday.

Economists polled by IFR Markets predicted that 400,000 jobs would be added.

“The private payrolls report wasn’t weak enough to really prompt Congress to act quickly with immediate relief,” said Ed Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA. “The ADP survey came after an increase in weekly jobless claims, so even though the private report has recently understated hirings relative to the nonfarm payrolls report, Friday’s main event could provide some insight. sweet reading.”

New York PMI
Manufacturing activity in New York slowed in November, as the New York Institute for Supply Management’s Current Economic Situation fell to 44.2 in November from 65.1 in October.

A year ago, the index was 50.4.

The six-month outlook fell to 48.6 from 62.9. A year ago, it was at 62.8.

The NY-BCI fell to 811.9 from 814.8. A year ago, it was at 874.5.

Milwaukee PMI
The Institute for Supply Management-Milwaukee PMI climbed to 61.96 seasonally adjusted in November from 59.42 in October.

New orders fell to 59.84 from 77.08, production fell to 53.75 from 57.84 while employment fell to 53.26 from 50.51.

The blue collar index rose from 54.1 to 56.1, while the white collar index rose from 43.1 to 47.7.

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