The U.S. economic recovery remained moderate in much of the country, and showed signs of a slowdown in areas where coronavirus cases are particularly high, according to a Federal Reserve report.
Most districts characterized the economic expansion as “modest or moderate,” the central bank said in its Beige Book survey released Wednesday in Washington.
“Four districts described little or no growth, and five narratives noted that activity remained below pre-pandemic levels for at least some sectors,” according to the report based on information collected by the Fed’s 12 regional banks through Nov. 20.
New U.S. infections have soared since the end of October, and the surge is leading some cities and states to again implement restrictions. Colder winter weather in much of the country is also dampening economic activity, as virus-compatible activities like outdoor dining become nearly impossible.
Most districts saw a slowing in the pace of job gains, the report showed. The U.S. economy has recovered just over half of the jobs lost at the start of the pandemic in the spring, but 11 million people remain unemployed.
The pandemic has hit Midwestern states especially hard, with three of four districts in the region seeing a slowdown last month amid surging cases. Uncertainty about the future remained a common theme across districts, with some citing that it was holding back hiring and other activity.