A Federal Reserve report showed U.S. firms reported economic activity was unchanged in July through late August, with further softening expected over the next year even as they saw some tentative greenshoots in the ongoing battle against labor shortages and price pressures.
“Overall labor market conditions remained tight, although nearly all Districts highlighted some improvement in labor availability,” the Fed said in its survey, known as the “Beige Book.”
U.S. employers hired more workers than expected in August, the Labor Department reported, but moderate wage growth and a rise in the unemployment rate also suggested labor shortages may be easing.
Elsewhere in the Beige Book, the Fed’s stated aim of cooling inflation without causing a sharp spike in unemployment still appeared possible. “Generally softer economic conditions and slight relief from supply disruptions appeared to alleviate some inflationary pressures,” the Cleveland Fed district said.