Fed's Beige Book Finds Concern Above Auto Slowdown

Fed's Beige Book Finds Concern Above Auto Slowdown

The Federal Reserve in its Beige Book noted concerns about a prolonged slowdown in the auto industry and said it was too soon to gauge the impact of Hurricane Harvey on the broader economy.

Without offering specifics, the Beige Book said Hurricane Harvey “created broad disruptions to economic activity along the Gulf Coast in the Dallas and Atlanta Districts.”

A fifth of the oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico was offline, and many onshore producers in the Eagle Ford region temporarily stopped production.

Still, the economy expanded at a modest to moderate pace in the past few months.

Employment growth slowed some on balance, ranging from a slight to a modest rate in most Districts. Labor markets were widely characterized as tight. There were reports of worker shortages in numerous industries, most notably in manufacturing and construction.

On the auto sector, Cleveland district respondents said year-to-date production through July at District auto assembly plants declined more than 16 percent when compared to that of the same period a year.