August 2, 2021

A ‘robust’ U.S. economy is strengthening, Fed’s Beige Book finds, but it’s also grappling with big shortages and higher inflation

The outlook: The Federal Reserve’s latest deep dive on the economy confirmed the obvious: The U.S. is growing faster, but the recovery is being restrained by widespread shortages of labor and supplies.

The findings from the central bank’s so-called Beige Book largely mirrored the more timely remarks by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell during his appearance in Congress on Wednesday.

While the economy has made lots of progress, Powell said, he contends it stills needs a lot of support from the Fed. He pointed to millions of people still being out of work.

Read: A ‘notable’ increase in inflation will ease soon, Powell tells Congress

Big picture: The economy has plenty of momentum. Coronavirus cases are low, most government restrictions have been lifted and Americans are spending plenty of money — consumer spending accounts for about 70% of U.S….

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