The Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book, released this afternoon, noted that U.S. economic activity as a whole “expanded modestly” since the prior report from August.
In particular, the Beige Book – a recap of economic developments across the Fed’s 12 districts – highlighted that “Six Districts indicated the local economy continued to expand at a modest pace and another three cited moderate growth.” The Fed pointed to improvements in retail activity, nonfinancial services, real estate markets, and the automobile industry.
However, despite the more encouraging data, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his fellow central bankers intend to maintain their open-ended third round of quantitative easing (QE3) for the foreseeable future. The pledge by the Fed provided support to gold and silver futures on Wednesday, which remained slightly higher in spite of a broad-based sell-off in financial markets.
COMEX gold futures settled up by $0.10 at $1,765.10 per ounce while silver futures added $0.12, or 0.4%, to $34.11 per ounce.
The Beige Book can be read in its entirety at http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/beigebook/beigebook201210.htm
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