On March 8, The Federal Reserve released the “Beige Book” of economic conditions. The “Beige Book” shows that overall U.S. economic activity will increase slightly in early 2023, labor market conditions remain solid, and inflationary pressures remain prevalent. Overall, supply chain tensions continued to ease, consumer spending remained generally steady, and auto sales were little changed, although inventory levels continued to improve. Tourism remains strong as high inflation and higher interest rates continue to reduce consumers’ disposable income and purchasing power, several districts said.
Manufacturing stabilised after a period of contraction and the housing market remained subdued, constrained by unusually low inventories, but housing activity in some parts of the East Coast unexpectedly rose above seasonally normal levels, the report showed. Overall, across the U.S., loan demand is down, credit standards are tightening, delinquency rates are rising slightly, energy activity is flat to slightly down, and agricultural conditions are mixed. Amid heightened uncertainty, economic conditions in the U.S. are not expected to improve much in the coming months.