Persistent trade tensions weigh on economy: US Fed

US Federal Reserve

The US Federal Reserve has said in its latest Beige Book that the country saw “slight to modest” economic growth between September and early October, as trade tensions and slower global growth created an additional drag on the US economy.

The Beige Book, a periodic economic snapshot released by the Fed on Wednesday, contained economic report from 12 Federal Reserve Districts, each of which were monitored by a regional Federal Reserve Bank, Xinhua reported.

In the Beige Book, Federal Reserve Banks in several districts elaborated how trade tensions weighed on economic activities.

Boston Fed said chip manufacturers in its district were delaying new plant construction due to uncertainty about trade policy.

New York Fed said manufacturers and wholesalers in its district have expressed ongoing concern about tariffs and trade tensions and the related uncertainty going forward.

“Contacts in some districts suggested that persistent trade tensions and slower global growth weighed on activity,” said the Fed.

According to the Beige Book, employment rose “slightly” in the US as worker shortages restrained hiring. This indicated that the US labor market remained tight, as suggested by the latest data released by the US government.

As for the price level, the Fed said that even though most districts across the US characterized the recent pace of price increases as “modest”, tariffs were putting more pressure on the price of some products.

“Both retailers and manufacturers noted rising input costs, often for items subject to new tariffs, but retailers had relatively more success passing through these cost increases to their customers,” the Fed said.