Fed’s Economic Overview

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It is hard to believe but we’re already half way through 2024! Mid-year is a great time to assess where the economy is and where we might be headed. Professional economists with access to huge troves of economic data about the U.S. economy, summarize their outlook in what is known in the industry as the Beige Book.  The Beige Book is published by the Federal Reserve every couple of months, and summarizes the state of the economy, overall and in each region of the country.

The most recent report noted that the economy is experiencing modest growth during the last quarter, with very slight growth in retail spending, and an uptick in travel and tourism.  Residential housing demand is up, but commercial real estate has softened partially due to tighter credit conditions and higher interest rates.

The Beige Book cited very modest increases in job growth and wage growth. That means the ultra-aggressive job hiring market we saw in 2021 has cooled. Likewise, expectations for future inflation have also reduced. Most importantly, the Fed’s economic outlook does not predict a coming recession. With the Fed Funds interest rate hikes behind us, corporations could have a positive year ahead.

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