As the U.S. economy continues on its path of modest growth, lenders are showing signs of easing tight credit restrictions and business spending is also on the rise, the Federal Reserve said in its June 9 Beige Book report on the nation’s economic activity.
“Economic activity continued to improve since the last report across all twelve Federal Reserve Districts, although many Districts described the pace of growth as modest,” the Fed’s Beige Book summary stated.
Business spending rose, on net, with employment and capital spending edging up but inventory investment slowing. “Financial activity was little changed on balance, although a few Districts noted a modest increase in lending,” the Fed said
Consumer spending and tourism activity generally increased, and nonfinancial services, manufacturing, and transportation continued to gradually improve.
Residential real estate activity in many districts was buoyed by the April deadline for the homebuyer tax credit, while commercial real estate remained weak, although some districts reported an increase in leasing.
Prices of final goods and services were largely stable as higher input costs were not being passed along to customers and wage pressures continued to be minimal.
The Beige Book was prepared by the Fed’s Bank of Chicago using data collected on or before May 28. In the previous Beige Book released on April 14, the Fed also reported economic improvement in most districts around the country.