26 November 2003 19:46 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--Economists at the US Federal Reserve Bank reported Wednesday that the US economy continued to expand in October and early November with "broadly based improvements" among multiple industries and service sectors.
The Fed, the US central bank, said in its new "Beige Book" analysis of the US economy that manufacturing activity picked up in most of the Fed's 12 regional districts across the US. But the Beige Book report noted too that there were few gains in employment in the manufacturing sector.
However, the Federal Reserve 11th district headquarters in Dallas, Texas reported "continuing overcapacity in the petrochemicals industry."
But the central bank report also noted growth in a variety of chemical consuming industries, suggesting developing demand for chemicals.
"Factory expansion was broad-based in the Richmond, Tennessee district, with firms in almost all sectors reporting higher shipments," the Fed reported, "while Chicago said that new orders remained strong or were up for medium- and heavy-duty truck and construction equipment manufacturers."
Fed district headquarters in "Dallas, Boston, San Francisco and Minneapolis noted positive reports among manufacturers of various high-tech products."
"Demand increased for building materials suppliers in the Atlanta and San Francisco districts," the Fed said, noting too that "Cleveland reported that automakers and some steel producers increased activity and that most nondurable producers there indicated little if any spare capacity."
In addition, the Beige Book said residential real estate markets "continued to show strength in virtually all districts." Home sales and new construction "maintained a brisk pace in most districts."
While showing some easing in a few districts, "residential activity is expected to remain robust overall into next year," the Fed said.
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