Friday, September 10, 2010

U.S. economic recovery varies by region

A Wall Street Journal article reports that economic recovery is advancing unevenly across the U.S. Regions reliant on such industries as manufacturing and farming show progress while those more dependent upon housing continue to struggle.

The Federal Reserve said earlier this week that its mid-July through August survey of economic conditions in the central bank's 12 districts found "widespread signs of a deceleration compared to preceding periods." However, the Fed report (called the beige book) noted that factories, farms, and mines were all seeing "continued gains in demand and sales," while housing sales - and the related construction industry - slowed after the expiration of tax credits.

The Fed report reinforces other data that show the economies in some U.S. locales faring better than others, depending upon the mix of businesses they depend on for job growth and wages. Unemployment is relatively low in farming and resource-rich regions across the upper Great Plains, while unemployment remains elevated in Sunbelt cities and other areas still reeling from the housing bust.

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