Fed Survey: US Economy Grew During Summer

Fed survey: US economy grew during summerBy MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. economy grew moderately in July and early August, and hiring was more robust than in the previous six-week period, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.

The Fed report on business conditions said nine of its 12 districts reported growth that was "modest" or "moderate." That's roughly in line with the conditions described in the previous report.

Strength in auto sales, tourism and home sales in July and early August offset weakness in manufacturing.

The report comes two days before Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will address an annual conference of economists in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Investors will be listening for any signals about whether the Fed might take action at its next policy meeting Sept. 12-13 to stimulate the economy.

Michael Gapin, an economist at Barclays, said he viewed the latest Fed survey of business conditions as slightly more positive than the July report. But he said companies continue to worry about threats, including economic weakness in Europe.

Analysts said nothing in the report would discourage the Fed from helping the economy, if its policymakers saw the need for it.

"As long as activity grows at a rate that fails to bring down the unemployment rate, Fed action remains on the table," said Paul Edelstein, director of financial economics at HIS Global Insight.

The economy is still struggling to gain traction more than three years after the end of the Great Recession in June 2009. The Fed report said that six of its districts reported weaker demand in manufacturing. And it highlighted concerns about a severe drought affecting cotton, soybean and corn crops in its Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City districts.

The report, known as the Beige Book, is released eight times a year. It's based on information that the Fed's 12 regional banks gather from business contacts around the country.

At its last policy meeting on July 31-Aug. 1, the Fed took no action. But the minutes from that meeting signaled that Fed officials might act as soon as September, possibly by launching a fresh round of bond buying. The goal of the bond purchases would be to lower long-term interest rates to encourage more borrowing and spending.

The minutes showed that Fed officials spoke with increased urgency about the need to provide more help for the U.S. economy. Many officials felt further support would be needed "fairly soon" unless the economy improved significantly.

The Fed has already sought to drive down long-term rates by buying more than $2 trillion in Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities in two previous rounds of bond purchases. These purchases are known as "quantitative easing."

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democracks0

I agree with Hillary. "Shame on you Barack Obama"

It's been over 7 months now since Obama met with his jobs council. With so many people out of work you'd think Obama would give up 1 day of golf to meet with his jobs council.

September 01 2012 at 11:37 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
democracks0

teapartyiscrazy
Glad the party of no will be gone in 2012

Yep you're right. The democrook party of know nothing and do nothing has got to go.

ByeByeObama. See even Obamites know the democrooks have to go.

September 01 2012 at 11:30 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
democracks0

Will you please post the nun story again.

Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze with sugar on top.

September 01 2012 at 5:55 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
democracks0

teapartyiscrazy
Yes, Obama is in way over his head. Bush handed Obama the worst economic crisis since the great depression.

==============================================
No one handed Obama anything. He wanted the job and campaigned for it the majority of the time he was senator.Maybe Obama should have been paying attention instead of running around campaigning and voting present. If Obama wasn't up for the job he shouldn't have run for president. Even Joe Biden said Obama was unqualified to be president.

And what was Pelosi and Reid doing? They walked the country right into the economic collapse in 2008 and sat on their hands and did nothing yet point the finger of blame at everyone else.

Even the Obamite admitted that Obamas in way over his head. Now that's pricele$$

September 01 2012 at 5:48 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
democracks0

New screen name

HARRYSABLOCKHEAD!!!

Priceles$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

September 01 2012 at 4:56 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
democracks0

teapartyiscrazy
Glad the party of no will be gone in 2012

Yep you're right. The democrook party of know nothing and do nothing has got to go.

ByeByeObama

September 01 2012 at 4:55 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
democracks0

New screen name

HARRYSABLOCKHEAD!!!

Priceles$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

September 01 2012 at 4:53 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
democracks0

Maybe there would be jobs if obstructionist Harry Reid would stop blocking job bills. What a blockhead.

The democrook party of know nothing and do nothing has got to go.

September 01 2012 at 4:52 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
democracks0

Obamites post that Obama created millions of jobs then they post where are the jobs?

Make up your minds Obamites!!!!

Obamas a fiasco

September 01 2012 at 4:51 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
democracks0

I wonder if Obama will meet with his jobs council next week. It's been over 7 months now. He did manage to have the time to give work permits to illegals. Kind off a slap in the face to the American people who are out of work.

September 01 2012 at 4:49 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply