US economy continues modest expansion in September, Fed survey shows

Washington, Oct 20 (IANS) US economic activity continues to expand at a modest to moderate pace from late August through early October, with most districts expecting positive outlook, the latest survey result released by the Federal Reserve showed on Wednesday.

“Most districts indicated a modest or moderate pace of expansion,” Xinhua news agency quoted the Fed in its latest Beige Book which gauges its 12 districts’ economy. However, the New York District reported no change in overall activity.

The survey showed that most districts expected positive outlooks with growth expected to continue at a slight to moderate pace in several districts.

According to the survey, retail sales picked up in most districts, and were expected to continue modest growth in the months ahead. Manufacturing activity was mixed, and several districts reported that strong US dollar continue to drag the exports of manufacturing goods.

Labour market conditions remained tight, with modest payroll and wage growth, said the survey report. Prices increased slightly overall.

The Fed kept its federal funds rate unchanged in its September meeting amid recent weak economic data and tepid inflation, but strongly signalled that the central bank could have one rate hike by the end of this year.

Analysts widely hold that the Fed would keep interest rate unchanged in its November meeting, while possibly hike the rate in December.

–IANS

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