Fed’s Beige Book finds signs of cooling labor market across most of the country
There were signs that the labor market was cooling in nearly all regions of the country, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday.
The survey, known as the Beige Book, is a collection of anecdotes from business contacts collected before Jan. 8.
The contacts spoke of larger applicant pools, lower turnover rates, more selective hiring by firms and easing wage pressures.
Cooling wages in particular would help keep inflation on a downward path.
Fed officials will meet at the end of the month to plot interest-rate policy. They use the Beige Book to get a sense of conditions on the ground.
The business contacts seemed optimistic about future growth. Expectations were positive, had improved, or both, the survey found.
There were also many reports that consumers’ “price sensitivity” was forcing retailers to narrow their profit margins and put pressure on their own suppliers to keep prices contained.
were down sharply in afternoon trading, while the yield on the 10-year Treasury note
rose to 4.11%.