War jitters, bad weather and surging fuel costs contributed to “subdued” US growth in January and February.
The Federal Reserve’s closely watched beige book report, compiled from updates from its twelve regional offices, found the threat of conflict in Iraq playing on people’s minds.
“Many reports indicated that geopolitical and economic uncertainties were constraining consumer and business spending and tempering near-term expectations,” the study found.
Some sectors, however, are booming. “Terrorism fears boosted the sales of duct tape, plastic, and other hardware goods in some regions,” continued the report.
Cold weather and rising raw material and fuel prices also hit activity. The Fed found business spending was “very soft”, while the factory sector was “weak or lacklustre” in most areas.
Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff