17 January 2001, 22:05  FED BEIGE BOOK: GROWTH SLOWED IN DEC, LABOR SHORTAGES EASED

ENERGY SECT. ACTIVITY EXPANDING AS FAST AS POSSIBLE
LABOR MARKETS 'EASED SOMEWHAT, BUT REMAINED TIGHT'
LAYOFFS SEEN IN WIDE VARIETY OF INDUSTRIES
BUSINESSES EXPECT LAID OFF WORKERS TO BE REABSORBED
FED'S BEIGE BOOK:ALL DISTRICTS REPORT WEAKER DEC MANUFACTURING
PRICES OF MANUFACTURED GOODS DOWN BUT COSTS HIGHER
SEVERAL DISTS REPORT TEMP AUTO SHUTDOWNS IN 1Q 2001
AUTO SALES SLOWED, DEALER STOCKS HIGHER
MANY DISTRICTS CITE 'DIMINISHED'CONSUMER CONFIDENCE
WAGES PRESSURES SIMILAR OR SLIGHTLY LESS INTENSE
SLOWER GROWTH ALSO LIMITED PRICE PRESSURES
REAL ESTATE SLOWED; SKI, FLORIDA TOURISM STRONG
BANKS DIDN'T REPORT ANY CREDIT QUALITY DETERIORATION
BANKS NOTE LOAN GROWTH SLOWED IN MOST DISTRICTS

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