Make us your home page
Instagram

Fed's survey: Growth slows across much of the nation

WASHINGTON — The economy worsened in much of the United States in early summer, hampered by high unemployment, weak home sales and signs of a slowdown in manufacturing.

A survey by the Federal Reserve, released Wednesday, found that weak consumer spending, slow job growth and tight credit are restraining growth into the second half of the year.

Growth slowed in eight of the Fed's 12 bank regions in June and early July, the report found, compared with the spring, the worst showing this year.

The Fed's survey found that factory output weakened in some areas. That's likely to heighten concerns that manufacturing, one of the economy's few bright spots over the past two years, is sputtering.

Manufacturing output rose overall. But many districts reported only "steady or slowing" growth, the Fed's report said. Only two districts — Kansas City and Cleveland — reported rising manufacturing activity. Companies in three districts — Philadelphia, Richmond and Atlanta, which includes all of Florida — reported slower growth.

The Fed's report found that the job market remained weak in most of the 12 districts. Hiring was scant, for example, in the Boston district, except among advertising and consulting firms.

Consumer spending improved, aided by a drop in gas prices, which had peaked at nearly $4 a gallon in early May. But auto sales dropped. Supplies at many dealers remained tight because of disruptions stemming from Japan's March 11 earthquake.

The overall dim picture of the national economy echoes recent data on hiring and manufacturing. Economists expect growth for the April-June quarter, which will be reported Friday, will be only 1.7 percent, the second straight quarter of anemic expansion.

In June, employers added only 18,000 jobs, the fewest in nine months. And the unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent, the highest in a year.

The report, known as the "Beige Book," is based on anecdotal information gathered by officials at the 12 Fed regional banks. It's released eight times a year and provides an on-the-ground snapshot of the economy.

Durable goods orders fall

U.S. businesses cut back on orders for aircraft, autos, heavy machinery and computers in June, sending demand for long-lasting manufactured goods lower for the second month in the past three, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Orders for durable goods fell 2.1 percent last month, with the weakness led by a big drop in orders for commercial aircraft. A number of other categories also showed weakness including autos and auto parts.

.Fast facts

Durable goods orders fall

U.S. businesses cut back on orders for aircraft, autos, heavy machinery and computers in June, sending demand for long-lasting manufactured goods lower for the second month in the past three, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Orders for durable goods fell 2.1 percent last month, with the weakness led by a big drop in orders for commercial aircraft. A number of other categories also showed weakness including autos and auto parts.



. Fast facts

Durable goods orders fall

U.S. businesses cut back on orders for aircraft, autos, heavy machinery and computers in June, sending demand for long-lasting manufactured goods lower for the second month in the past three, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Orders for durable goods fell 2.1 percent last month, with the weakness led by a big drop in orders for commercial aircraft. A number of other categories also showed weakness including autos and auto parts.

Fed's survey: Growth slows across much of the nation 07/27/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 9:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Toxic' times: How repeal of Florida's tax on services reverberates, 30 years later

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Long before Hurricane Irma attacked Florida, the state faced a troubled fiscal future that the storm will only make worse.

    Robertson says the tax debate is now “toxic.”
  2. Fewer Tampa Bay homeowners are underwater on their mortgages

    Real Estate

    The percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners underwater on their mortgages continues to drop. In the second quarter of this year, 10.2 percent of borrowers had negative equity compared to nearly 15 percent in the same period a year ago, CoreLogic reported Thursday. Nationally, 5.4 percent of all mortgaged homes were …

    The percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners underwater on their mortgages  continues to drop. [Times file photo]
  3. 'What Happened'? Clinton memoir sold 300,000 copies in first week

    Blogs

    Despite being met with decidedly mixed reviews, What Happened, Hillary Clinton's new memoir about the 2016 presidential campaign, sold a whopping 300,000 copies in its first week.

    The new memoir by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sold 300,000 copies in its first week.
  4. After Irma topples tree, home sale may be gone with the wind

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — To house hunters searching online, the home for sale in St. Petersburg's Shore Acres neighborhood couldn't have looked more appealing — fully renovated and shaded by the leafy canopy of a magnificent ficus benjamini tree.

    Hurricane Irma's winds recently blew over a large ficus tree, left, in the yard of a home at 3601Alabama Ave NE, right, in Shore Acres which is owned by Brett Schroder who is trying to sell the house.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  5. Unemployment claims double in Florida after Hurricane Irma

    Business

    The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped by 23,000 last week to 259,000 as the economic impact of Hurricane Harvey began to fade.

    Homes destroyed by Hurricane Irma on Big Pine Key last week. Hurricane Irma continued to have an impact on the job market in Florida, where unemployment claims more than doubled from the previous week.
[The New York Times file photo]