U.S. economic activity was relatively flat at the start of the year and businesses are pessimistic about growth in the months ahead, the Federal Reserve said in a Wednesday report.
Half of the Fed’s 12 regional banks reported no change or slight declines in economic activity in their districts, with several others reporting slight or modest growth and one a significant decline.
Some retailers “noted that high inflation continued to reduce consumers’ purchasing power, particularly among low and moderate-income households,” according to the central bank’s latest compilation of economic anecdotes from around the country, known as the Beige Book.
The Fed said most regions benefited from a slight increase in consumer spending during the holiday season. Many business contacts said it had become more difficult to pass higher costs to consumers, “suggesting greater price sensitivity on the part of consumers.”
“Selling prices increased at a modest or moderate pace in most districts, though many said that the pace of increases had slowed from that of recent reporting periods,” the Fed report said.
The report included information gathered through Jan. 9.
Write to Bryan Mena at email@example.com
Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8