The pace of United States economic growth slowed last month in eight of the 12 Federal Reserve Districts, the central bank said Wednesday in the latest edition of its Beige Book report.
“Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicated that economic activity continued to grow; however, the pace has moderated in many Districts” pointed out the Fed report.
“Among firms reporting on near-term expectations, the manufacturing outlook remained generally optimistic, but capital spending plans were somewhat more cautious,” according to the document.
The Beige Book, an appraisal of economic conditions based on anecdotal information from the Fed’s 12 regional banks, also cited an easing of inflationary pressures and a decline in energy prices.
“Falling gasoline prices throughout most of this reporting period may have encouraged a pickup in shopping trips and some additional spending since the previous Beige Book,” the document said.
Data from the report released Wednesday will be part of the information considered at the next meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, set for Aug. 9.
In testimony to Congress earlier this month, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke expressed concerns about the durability of the economic recovery and the softness of the labour market.