ETC: Economic Trends & Conditions
A periodic overview of national and regional economic issues of relevance to financial institutions.
This publication was discontinued as of September 2012. Visit the Reserve Bank's Economic Research Publications page for current economic data, analysis, and commentary.
Recent data indicate that economic activity has continued to expand at a moderate pace in recent months. Amid slow job growth, sluggish business investment, and subdued inflation, the FOMC moved to provide additional monetary stimulus at its September meeting.
Recent data have generally disappointed and suggest some loss of momentum in the ongoing economic recovery. Manufacturing activity, one of the bright spots so far in the recovery, is cooling, and a recent increase in the saving rate suggests that consumers may have become more cautious. In line with the tepid outlook for growth, unemployment is expected to decline very gradually to slightly below 8% by the end of 2013.
After growing at a fairly strong pace at the end of last year, real GDP has decelerated. Some of the slowdown is probably due to temporary factors, however, a broad range of economic indicators for the second quarter has come in softer than we expected.
In the early stages of past recoveries, residential construction made significant contributions. This time, several years after the Great Recession ended, housing remains deeply depressed. Outside housing, however, the recent economic news has generally been a bit better than expected.
Recent data on the economy have been mixed. While labor market conditions continued to improve in February, some other data releases suggested softening. In particular, personal consumption expenditures have been relatively flat since October 2011.
The Twelfth District economy continued to grow at a moderate pace during the reporting period of late November through the end of December.