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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Fed's Beige Book: Most districts reported modest, moderate growth

  • Price pressures little changed, modest increases reported
  • Little change see in trend of modest to moderate wage rises
  • Labor markets tightened with shortages broadening
  • Many companies offered higher wages where shortages most severe
  • Most districts reported moderate growth in manufacturing
  • Low inventories pushing house prices higher in many markets
  • Consumer spending softened
The Beige Book covered from early April to mid-May.
The Fed can hike on June 14 on the belief that inflation is coming because of a tight jobs market but beyond that, they're going to need to see some real evidence of genuine price pressures.

Leisure and hospitality contacts said they have not been able to fill many entry-level and seasonal positions due to a lower number and inferior quality of applicants compared with past years... Attracting qualified applicants for low-skilled manufacturing jobs is difficult, and many newly hired workers prove to be unreliable... Several contacts observed that applicants for some low-skilled positions did not meet the minimum job requirements or were unable to pass pre-employment screenings such as drug tests.

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