In this file:

 

·          Financial forecast still weak in farming regions, Fed finds

… “Agricultural conditions remained weak as a result of unfavorable weather conditions, low commodity prices and trade-related uncertainties,” the Federal Reserve wrote in its Beige Book…

·         Fed’s Beige Book finds steady or improving activity outside of manufacturing and farm sectors

Contacts still optimistic about near-term outlook despite uncertainty over U.S.-China trade war, Fed survey finds

 

·         Fed Beige Book Shows Wide Tariff Anxiety, Varied Impact So Far

… The anxiety about protectionism was broad geographically and across industries as pricing difficulties, labor shortages and supply-chain disruptions were cited in the Fed’s so-called Beige Book, released on Wednesday…

 

 

Financial forecast still weak in farming regions, Fed finds

 

By Ryan McCrimmon, POLITICO

09/05/201

 

The central bank on Wednesday offered another assessment of widespread financial problems in farm country. “Agricultural conditions remained weak as a result of unfavorable weather conditions, low commodity prices and trade-related uncertainties,” the Federal Reserve wrote in its Beige Book.

 

The challenging farm conditions stretched across Fed districts based in Kansas City, Minneapolis and St. Louis. Among the common findings: low commodity prices, trade woes and continued fallout from heavy rain and flooding during the spring planting season.

 

“Sharp declines in crop and livestock prices in August weighed on farm revenues” in the 10th district, according to the Kansas City Fed. “Hog and soybean prices declined moderately alongside ongoing trade disputes, and cattle prices decreased sharply following a substantial disruption at a major beef processing facility located in the District.”

 

“Corn and wheat prices also declined sharply following higher-than-anticipated production estimates,” the bank wrote.

 

The St. Louis Federal Reserve bank reported that corn and soybeans in the district were in worse condition than in July and also compared with last year’s crop. As for agricultural credit conditions, industry contacts in the Minneapolis-based 9th district said that farm income and capital spending were down compared with a year earlier, with further declines expected in the months ahead.

 

KEEPING TABS ON TRADE AID 2.0: USDA has received more than 175,000 applications from farmers seeking payments for their 2019 production, and $2.46 billion has been paid to date, your host reports. The latest aid comes on top of $8.6 billion producers received for their 2018 production under last year’s trade relief plan, which drew more than 1 million applicants.

 

Where the money’s going ...

 

Making a difference ...

 

PORK PRODUCERS HIT THE HILL ...

 

FOOD INSECURITY SHRINKS TO DECADE-LOW ...

 

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https://www.politico.com/morningagriculture/

 

 

Fed’s Beige Book finds steady or improving activity outside of manufacturing and farm sectors

Contacts still optimistic about near-term outlook despite uncertainty over U.S.-China trade war, Fed survey finds

 

By Greg Robb, MarketWatch

Sept 4, 2019

 

The outlook: Economic activity in the crucial non-financial service sector was either steady or improving across the country through the end of August, according to the “Beige Book” survey released by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday.

 

What happened: The overall economy expanded at the same “modest pace” seen in earlier reports this year, the survey said.

 

While there was continued uncertainty over U.S. trade policy with China, a majority of business owners “remain optimistic about the near-term outlook,” the Fed found. Manufacturing and agriculture were the two weak spots in the late summer.

 

Reports on consumer spending was “mixed,” with auto sales continuing at a modest pace and “solid” tourism activity. Employment grew at a modest pace, with moderate upward wage growth. Price increases were modest. Businesses said that the impact of recent trade tariffs on Chinese products would not be felt for a few months on prices that consumers pay at the store.

 

Big picture: Economists generally don’t think that weak manufacturing and agriculture will be enough to push the economy into a ditch. Today’s report fits with the same 2% growth rate seen in the first half of the year.

 

Fed officials are split about how to respond to fears of a sharper downturn, with some urging no rate cut while others push for aggressive easing at the next policy meeting on Sept. 17-18. Most economists think the safest course for the Fed will decide to cut interest rates by a quarter-point at its next policy meeting in two weeks, following up on a similar move in July.

 

Interesting anecdotes ...

 

Market reaction ...                  

       

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https://www.marketwatch.com/story/feds-beige-book-finds-steady-or-improving-activity-outside-of-manufacturing-and-farm-sectors-2019-09-04

 

 

Fed Beige Book Shows Wide Tariff Anxiety, Varied Impact So Far

 

By Alexandre Tanzi, Bloomberg 

September 5, 2019       

 

U.S. companies showed widespread concerns about tariff and trade policy uncertainty, but generally reported minimal impact thus far, according to a regional survey from the Federal Reserve.

 

The anxiety about protectionism was broad geographically and across industries as pricing difficulties, labor shortages and supply-chain disruptions were cited in the Fed’s so-called Beige Book, released on Wednesday. The ability to pass on higher costs was varied, according to anecdotal examples before the U.S. put a 15% tariff on $112 billion in Chinese imports Sept. 1.

 

“District reports on the impact of tariffs on pricing were mixed, with some Districts anticipating that the effects would not be felt for a few months,” the report stated, based on information collected in about a six-week period to Aug. 23.

 

Here are some other highlights:

 

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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-05/fed-beige-book-shows-wide-tariff-anxiety-varied-impact-so-far