Economic Update - 9.17.21
Economic Update - 9.17.21

Featured topics:

  • Beige Book - Economic Activity
  • VTS Office Demand Index (VODI)
  • California Zoning Law Changes
  • Proposed Tax Changes on Partnerships
  • Jobs Report
  • Delta Variant Impact on Hiring
  • Retail Sales
  • A Case for Retail Resiliency
  • Home Building Geography Index


Economic growth downgraded slightly in July and August, according to the September release of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book. Manufacturing, transportation, non-financial services, and residential real estate stood out as stronger than average sectors during the survey period. According to the analysis, the slowdown in economic activity was largely due to a weakening in demand for dining out, travel, and tourism, presumably stemming from the rise of the Delta variant.

Supply disruptions and labor shortages also continue to dampen growth in some areas of the economy, particularly auto sales— which have been impacted by a worldwide microchip shortage, and home sales, which suffer from persistently low inventories. Both residential and non-residential construction rose across districts during the latest survey period, with loan volumes varying widely.

All districts reported rising employment, but most also continued to note a persistent shortage of available workers that in many cases, are impeding business activity. Early retirements, childcare needs, challenges in negotiating job offers, and the presence of enhanced unemployment benefits were noted as the largest barriers constraining hiring.

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