Federal Reserve: St. Louis Region Sees Modest Growth

Megan Lynch

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – A little brighter economic picture for most of the country — including the St. Louis region.

The latest survey by the Federal Reserve Bank shows modest economic growth this summer.

St. Louis Fed economist Rubén Hernández-Murillo says manufacturing is a bright spot.  “A larger number of manufacturing contacts reported plans to open plants and expand operations in the district.”  The Fed’s Beige Book report points to increases at firms in heating and air conditioning, art goods, packaging, bioscience, power hand tools, and sanitary paper products.

The services sector has also seen a boost in activity, especially for scientific research, business support, health care, aviation and automotive repair and maintenance. 

But real estate remains stalled.  “Home sales have continued to decline across the largest metropolitan areas since the July report,” points out Hernandez-Murillo.   Sales were down 13-percent compared to last year in St. Louis, were 14-percent lower in Louisville, and were off 8-percent in Memphis.

Most retailers in the St. Louis district told the Federal Reserve sales weren’t up to snuff in July and early August.  It was a different story for auto dealers, reporting cars moving off their lots at better speed than a year ago. 

Copyright KMOX Radio

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