The pace of economic growth remains modest to moderate which is also the general outlook, results of what is a soft assessment from the Beige Book. And unlike the last Beige Book in September, the October edition does not highlight increases in wage pressure. But it does describe labor conditions as remaining "tight" though wage growth is described as "modest." Inflation in general is described as no hotter than "mild".
Though most of the 12 districts report gains for retail sales, this report continues to describe consumer spending as no better than mixed. Noting that manufacturing is being held down by strength in the dollar and resulting weakness in exports, the sector gets a downgrade from slightly better as described in the last Beige Book back to mixed. On the plus side, the report notes signs of stabilization in energy, a sector that has held down manufacturing for the past two years. It said residential real estate expanded further despite low inventories and that commercial activity improved as well, though noting that uncertainty surrounding the November election continued to hold back expectations for sales and construction.
There is little market reaction to today's report which does not raise any urgency for a rate hike. The report was prepared by the Dallas Fed for the November 1 and 2 FOMC. Responses were gathered before October 7.