Wages are on the rise but only a modest-to-moderate rise, with economic growth described as slight-to-moderate across the Federal Reserve's 12 districts. And a few of the districts are now saying that overall price pressures have eased. Consumer spending is rising in most districts but at a slower pace. Two districts, Cleveland and Philadelphia, are reporting slowing in overall growth. Two other districts, Atlanta and St. Louis, are reporting flat employment levels.
This edition, especially the descriptions of inflation and the introduction of the word "slight" for the downside description of growth, is perhaps the weakest Beige Book so far this year. There are, however, indications of strength with the report noting that qualified workers are in short supply and the labor market is continuing to tighten for both skilled and unskilled labor and especially in the construction and high-tech sectors.
Looking at the report on net and putting aside the word "slight", modest-to-moderate is still the call across most regions and most economic readings. These results will not pull forward expectations for the next rate hike. Cut off date for the sample, which was compiled by the Kansas City Fed for the July 25 & 26 FOMC, was June 30.