The Journal Gazette
Thursday, January 14, 2021 1:00 am

Economic growth mixed: Report

Associated Press

WASHINGTON – A Federal Reserve survey of U.S. business conditions has found modest economic gains at the start of the year, although some parts of the country saw slowdowns stemming from a renewed surge of COVID-19 cases.

The Fed report released Wednesday said that the bulk of the Fed's 12 regions reported modest gains in economic activity in recent weeks. But two districts saw declines in activity, and another two reported little or no change.

It said reports on consumer spending, which drives 70% of economic activity, were mixed. Some districts reported declines in retail sales and demand for hospitality and leisure services as local governments imposed stricter measures.

“Although the prospect of COVID-19 vaccines has bolstered business optimism for 2021 growth, this has been tempered by concern over the recent virus resurgence and the implications for near-term business conditions,” the Fed said.

The Fed's report will form the basis for discussions when central bank officials hold their next meeting on interest rates Jan. 26 and 27.

Sign up for our daily headlines newsletter

Top headlines are sent daily