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Reply #54: U.S. Economy Barely Moving Amid Creeping Disinflation, Beige Book Shows [View All]

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 09:56 AM
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54. U.S. Economy Barely Moving Amid Creeping Disinflation, Beige Book Shows /

The U.S. economy continues to expand at a slow-to-moderate pace, according to the Feds Beige Book, released Wednesday, but disinflationary pressures still raise a warning flag, Goldman Sachs Shuyan Wu says. Despite a substantial boost to global confidence after global central banks injected U.S. dollar liquidity, the situation seems set for Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to unleash a third round of quantitative easing to keep a modest recovery from waning in coming months.

Overall economic activity increased at a slow to moderate pace since the previous report across all Federal Reserve Districts except St. Louis, which reported a decline in economic activity, read the first line of the Beige Book, which outlines the general state of the economy as of November 18.

Among the bright spots was an uptick in consumer spending, on the backs of tourism and motor vehicles, and slightly improved bank lending standards. On the face of them, these are bullish signs for auto producers like Ford and General Motors, and online booking service companies like Expedia and Priceline.

But growth remains subpar and downside risk is very real. Bernanke has reiterated that housing and labor markets are a prerequisite for any self-sustaining recovery. Data on the front remains weak. According to the Beige Book, hiring was generally subdued and some firms with open positions reported difficulty finding qualified applicants. The latter point is evidence of structural unemployment, a much harder problem to uproot...
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