Fed Says U.S. Economic Activity Has Picked Up to Moderate Pace

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U.S. economic activity has picked up pace and consumer spending has improved, the Federal Reserve said.

“National economic activity accelerated to a moderate pace from late February to early April,” according to the Fed’s Beige Book released on Wednesday, which was based on information collected by the Fed’s 12 regional banks through April 5. “Consumer spending strengthened. Reports on tourism were more upbeat, bolstered by a pickup in demand for leisure activities and travel.”

More than a year into the global pandemic, Fed officials have repeatedly stressed that the U.S. economy continues to need aggressive monetary policy support as it recovers from the virus, even as the outlook brightens amid widening vaccinations.

Their latest forecasts show officials don’t expect to raise interest rates from near zero before the end of 2023, even as they sharply upgraded projections for growth and employment this year.

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