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Minus Housing and Services, St. Louis Region seeing Economic Growth

Megan Lynch
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX/AP) – While economic growth is slowing in some parts of the country, St. Louis is one region still reporting steady gains.

The latest survey of business activity by the Federal Reserve shows gains in manufacturing and consumer spending.  “The St. Louis Beige Book noted retail and auto sales increased in April and early May compared to a year ago. 

Yet St. Louis Fed senior economist Rubén Hernández-Murillo says the gains aren’t across the board.  “In contrast with other federal reserve districts, the St. Louis district noted that activity in the services sector declined since the previous Beige Book report.” 

Real estate is still a blot on the regional economy.  As of April, year-to-date home sales were down 19 percent in St. Louis.

Copyright KMOX Radio

 

More from the Associated Press:

For the first time this year, the economy slowed in several U.S. regions this spring. High gas prices weakened consumer spending, and the Japan crises reduced
manufacturing output.

Four of the Federal Reserve’s 12 bank regions suffered slower growth in April and May compared with earlier this year, a Fed survey reported Wednesday. The report confirmed a slew of data that portray a national economy whose growth has faltered. Hiring has
slowed, orders to factories have declined and home prices have fallen.

Fed banks in New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Chicago said growth weakened in those regions. By contrast, the Fed regions in Boston, Cleveland, Richmond, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and San Francisco said growth there remained steady. The Dallas region was the only one to report accelerating growth. That was mostly because of higher oil prices that benefited that region’s energy industry.

The report, known as the “Beige Book,” is based on anecdotal information gathered by officials at the Fed regional banks. It is released eight times a year and provides a more in-the-trenches review of the U.S. economy than government statistics do.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press

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