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Fed's Regional Economic Outlook Due Out

May 03, 1999|Bloomberg News

The Federal Reserve is scheduled Wednesday to release its latest regional economic outlook, commonly known as the beige book. The report, based on data from the Fed's 12 district banks, is published eight times a year. It will help form the basis for discussion of interest rates at the May 18 meeting of the Fed's policymaking panel. In the last beige book, March 17, the Fed said strong growth and low inflation would continue. It cited rising consumer spending, low commodity prices and a perceived lack of pricing power by many businesses. A report Friday showed continued economic strength in the first quarter of 1999 as the Commerce Department said the gross domestic product, the nation's total output of goods and services, grew at a faster-than-expected 4.5% rate in the period. The growth was fueled by the largest rise in consumer spending in 11 years and exceeded the 3.4% rate expected by analysts. It followed a 6% annual growth pace in the fourth quarter.

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