Fed's Beige Book repeated growth was "modest" to "moderate,"
Fed's Beige Book repeated growth was "modest" to "moderate," with slight improvement in the overall outlook. This is the anecdotal report of development around the 12 Fed Districts. There were widespread reports of tightness in the labor market, though wage growth was still modest to moderate. Pre-holiday spending on retail and autos was basically flat, but the holiday outlook was optimistic. All Districts reported manufacturing activity expanded with most saying growth was moderate. Also, manufacturing contacts predominantly expect activity to continue to pick up. Employment growth increased, with growth seen as modest to moderate, but reports of tightness were widespread. Most Districts noted employers continued having difficulty finding qualified workers across various sill levels, and an inability to find workers with required skills was a key factor restraining hiring plans. Wage growth was also modest to moderate, but increases were notable for professional, technical, and production positions that were difficult to fill. Price pressures strengthened with modest to moderate growth in selling prices and moderate increased in non-labor input costs. Some increases were being passed through to consumers. Contacts expressed some concern over changes in the tax code.