Fed Report Shows Limited Recovery Through Mid-May

May 27, 2020

Recent weeks have seen limited evidence of an economic recovery, according to a report from the Federal Reserve. The Fed’s latest “beige book,” which collects anecdotal evidence from business contacts, found that the labor market remains weak and consumer spending has not bounced back.

The report covers the first few weeks of May, through the 18th, so it includes the early stages of reopening in some states. 

There were some early signs of recovery, with retailers reporting that they were beginning to bring back more staff and increase hours, but this process is not without challenge.

A survey of businesses conducted by the Philadelphia Fed on the reasons firms are reticent to bring back workers found that 33% cited fear of the virus, 25% pointed to the lack of childcare with schools and daycares closed, and 25% said the lure of expanded unemployment benefits is keeping some workers on the sidelines.


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