The U.S. economy expanded at a modest pace in April and May with a tight labour market and muted price increase pressures, the latest survey result released by the Federal Reserve showed.
“Most of the 12 Federal Reserve Districts reported that their economies continued to expand at a modest or moderate pace from early April through late May,” said the Fed in its latest Beige Book which gauges its 12 districts’ economy.
According to the survey, Boston and Chicago regions saw their growth slowed to modest pace while New York region reported flattened growth in the April and May period.
The survey showed that companies in a majority of districts expressed positive near-term outlooks, however optimism waned somewhat in a few districts.
Companies continued to report labour shortage, and most districts saw employment continued to grow at a modest to moderate pace.
Despite the tight labour market, wage growth remained modest, and price pressures were little changed, said the survey report. However, it noted that house prices were higher in many markets due to low inventories of for-sale homes.
Fed governor Lael Brainard said recently that she expected the central bank would raise interest rate soon but will pay close attention to the weak inflation data.
She downplayed the weak economic performance in the first quarter, and expected the economic growth to rebound in the second quarter.