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Economic growth in the United States showed a slight slowdown in the period from July to August, caused by the Delta variant of the coronavirus and is maintained at a “moderate” rate, indicated the Beige Book of the Federal Reserve.
According to the report, sectors most affected are restaurants, tourism and travel, “A reflection of concerns about the spread of the Delta variant.” While some sectors such as manufacturing, transportation, non-financial services and residential real estate remained strong.
“The slowdown in economic activity was due to the decline in dining, travel and tourism services in most districts, reflecting security concerns due to the increase in the delta variant of Covid-19 and, in some cases , international travel restrictions, “said the Beige Book, which is an official summary of the status of activity in the regions into which the FED is operatively divided.
There was also a weakness in car sales, attributed to low inventories caused by the shortage of microchips; in addition to a restricted activity for the sale of homes, caused by the low supply currently offered by the market.
Regarding residential construction, it increased slightly and non-residential construction recovered moderately.
Regarding the immediate outlook, “companies in most districts remained optimistic about the short-term outlook, although there is still a widespread concern about continued supply disruptions and resource shortages“Says the Beige book.
As regards inflation, “it stabilized at a high level.” Half of the 12 regions considered report “strong price increases” while the rest reported moderate increases. In various regions companies indicate that the increase in prices will continue in the coming months.
Regarding employment, the demand for labor continues to grow, although difficulties in finding personnel remain, the causes being the increase in early withdrawals even due to childcare problems.
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