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Eighth District Beige Book - February 2017

The Beige Book is a Federal Reserve System publication about current economic conditions across the 12 Federal Reserve Districts. Information on regional economic conditions is based on qualitative information gathered directly from sources in the District. This summary provides the February report from the Eighth District, headquartered in St. Louis. Highlights include:

  • Employment and wages increased modestly. 25% of business contacts surveyed reported that first-quarter employment was higher or slightly higher than a year ago; 65% reported wages were higher or slightly higher than a year ago
  • Manufacturing activity increased at a moderate pace and a strong majority of those surveyed reported that production, new orders and capacity utilization increased in the first quarter, relative to a year ago
  • Two-thirds of service and transportation contacts reported sales met or exceeded expectations in the second quarter, and 2/3 expect dollar sales to be higher in the second quarter than at the same time last year
  • Banking contacts report moderate to robust year-over-year growth in demand for business and mortgage loans
  • Price pressures increased modestly, as a greater share of those surveyed reported higher prices charged to consumers than in previous surveys

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