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Fed’s Beige Book shows economic slowdown as consumers pull back

US economic activity slowed in recent weeks as consumers pulled back on discretionary spending, the Federal Reserve said in its “Beige Book” survey of regional business contacts.

“Sales of discretionary items and durable goods, like furniture and appliances, declined, on average, as consumers showed more price sensitivity,” according the report released Wednesday. “Travel and tourism activity was generally healthy.”

The Beige Book, which was compiled by the Atlanta Fed using information gathered on or before Nov. 17, includes anecdotes and commentary on business conditions in each of the 12 Fed districts. 

Central bank officials are increasingly relying on this type of information to assess the path of the economy and inflation. While government statistics are the gold standard of economic data, the figures are generally backward-looking and subject to revision.

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Updated: 30 Nov 2023, 01:02 AM IST

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