Economy

Fed survey finds solid growth and rising wages

Fed survey finds solid growth and rising wages

Economic activity continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace across eleven Federal Reserve Districts from late November through the first week of January, according to the just-released Federal Reserve Beige Book. Some districts say firms expect wages to increase in months ahead.

The US dollar traded mixed against other major currencies as investors mainly focused on the Federal Reserve's latest Beige Book and the newly-released economic data.

"Retailers in some districts reported modest price increases and there were reports of rising home prices across the country", the Fed said.

Consumer spending increased in most Districts this period, particularly in non-auto retail sales and transportation.

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Views were mixed over the recently passed tax reform package, which includes a corporate-tax cut.

It seems like a contradiction: the economy is growing so firms are expanding and hiring, but without a supply of readily available workers business can not grow. But some did not think the package would have a big effect on investment.

Despite still weak inflation overall, Fed policymakers now expect to raise interest rates three times this year.

The majority of Fed policymakers appear to be putting more emphasis on the need to raise rates given the economy is at or near full employment rather than waiting until inflation appreciably rises. They are predicting the next hike will happen in March.


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