WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) – The corona pandemic continues to affect the US economy. The economy as a whole is currently growing at most moderately, announced the US Federal Reserve in its economic report (Beige Book) published on Wednesday. At the same time, reports from the business world indicate that developments differ from region to region. As a result of the Corona restrictions, a trend towards Internet purchases can be observed. Industrial production continues to recover from the slump during the first corona wave last spring.
The development of the important private consumption is described as mixed. In some regions, retailer sales have declined. The same applies to hospitality and leisure services. The auto industry’s sales have also weakened, while the energy sector has grown for the first time since the pandemic broke out.
The development of the real estate market is described as two-fold: the private housing market is doing well, while the commercial sector is developing weaker. This is likely to be a consequence of the corona-related trend towards increased home work and away from classic office work.
The prospect of effective corona vaccines has brightened corporate sentiment, the report says. However, the tense corona situation stands in the way of this. The United States is currently being hit by a new wave of infections. During the first in spring 2020, the economy collapsed at an historic rate. This was followed by a strong recovery in the summer. In autumn and winter, however, activity is likely to have decreased again due to new corona waves.
The current economic report was prepared by the regional central bank of San Francisco. It covers the economic situation up to the beginning of January. The economic picture is obtained from a survey of numerous central bank contacts from the economy. The report therefore does not represent the assessment of the central bank itself./bgf/he