15 October 2008 21:02 [Source: ICIS news]
The Fed, the US central banker, made the comment in its "Beige Book", a economic survey which covers each of its 12 districts, including the petrochemical-heavy Dallas district.
The most recent survey covers September. During that month, hurricanes Gustav and Ike disrupted production in the district, causing economic activity to slow down, the Fed said.
For all of the US, drilling activity rose, with the average number of active rigs exceeding 2,000, the Fed said. It was the first time since 1985 that the US had so many active rigs.
The Dallas district accounted for more than half of the increase, the Fed said.
Despite the recent drop in energy prices, the nation's energy industry remained confident of its long-term prospects, and labour shortages were still prevalent, the Fed said.
Overall, economic activity weakened in all 12 districts, and respondents to the survey have become more pessimistic, the Fed said. Consumer spending and manufacturing fell in most districts.
Residential real estate remained weak, and commercial real estate was slowing down, the Fed said.
Credit remained tight, the Fed said. Worries about credit availability and the economic outlook caused several districts to report cuts in capital spending.
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