US sees widespread signs of economic slowdown: Fed

The dour statement from the apex bank comes at a time when the US is grappling with high unemployment levels and high public debt.

"(There has been) continued growth in national economic activity during the reporting period of mid-July through the end of August, but with widespread signs of a deceleration compared with preceding periods," according to the Beige Book released on Wednesday.
The book provides a snapshot of economic activities in the 12 districts in the US.

As many as seven districts including Minneapolis, San Francisco and Dallas witnessed modest pace of economic growth while economic activities were on decline in remaining areas.

"Reports on manufacturing activity pointed to further expansion, although pace of growth eased ... Home sales slowed further following an initial drop after the expiration of the home buyer tax credit at the end of June, prompting a slowdown in construction activity as well," Beige Book said.

After expanding at a healthy pace, the US economic growth turned sluggish to 1.6 per cent in the 2010 second quarter. The economy is slowing down despite massive stimulus measures and the Federal Reserve maintaining key interest rates at near-zero levels.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in August rose to 9.6 per cent and a staggering 54,000 jobs vanished during the same period.

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