Explaining Southern California's economy

Something weird is going on with the U.S. economy

Karen Bleier

The Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C.

Hot on the heels of a very disappointing March jobs reports, we get a somewhat upbeat snapshot of the total economy from the Federal Reserve. The Fed's most recent "Beige Book" says the following:

Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicated that the economy continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace from mid-February through late March. Activity in the Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts grew at a moderate pace, while Cleveland and St. Louis cited modest growth. New York reported that economic growth picked up somewhat. Philadelphia and Richmond cited improving business conditions. The economy in Minneapolis grew at a solid pace and Kansas City's economy expanded at a faster pace.


Hiring was steady or showed a modest increase across many Districts. Difficulty finding qualified workers, especially for high-skilled positions, was frequently reported. Upward pressure on wages was constrained. Overall price inflation was modest. However, contacts in many Districts commented on rising transportation costs due to higher fuel prices.