Fed’s Beige Book shows ‘widespread’ prices in November

Prospects: While the economy grew at a moderate pace in November, businesses raised prices at a dizzying rate across the entire economy, according to the Fed’s latest Beige Book survey released Wednesday.

“Prices rose at a moderate to strong pace, with price appreciation spreading across sectors of the economy,” the survey found.

Input costs increased “widely” due to demand for raw materials, logistical challenges and a tightening labor market, the report said.

The tightening labor market means wages are also growing at a “strong” rate across most of the 12 Fed counties, according to the report.

It is also worth noting that some inputs have become more widely available, easing some of the pressure.

“Strong demand often allows companies to raise prices with little return, although contractual obligations have prevented some companies from raising prices,” the report concludes.

Big picture: Fed Chairman Jerome Powell took a hawkish note during his two days of testimony on Capitol Hill, perhaps after reading the draft of this Beige Book report. Powell opened the door to ending Fed asset purchases several months earlier than planned.

“The Fed is making a clear policy to focus on inflation,” said Tim Duy, chief US economist at SGH Macro Advisors.

Market reaction: Inventory
+ 0.19%

+ 0.52%

slightly higher on Tuesday as markets struggled to digest what the Fed’s pivot meant for asset prices.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/feds-beige-book-finds-widespread-price-hikes-in-november-11638386753?rss=1&siteid=rss Fed’s Beige Book shows ‘widespread’ prices in November


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