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Fed’s Beige Book Shows Modest U.S. Recovery as Job Growth Slows

  • Retail, leisure, hospitality-services demand fell in period
  • Covid-19 resurgence has tempered business optimism for 2021
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U.S. economic activity increased modestly at the end of 2020 while hiring slowed amid resurgent infections and new restrictions, even as vaccinations got underway, the Federal Reserve said.

“Some districts noted declines in retail sales and demand for leisure and hospitality services, largely owing to the recent surge in Covid-19 cases and stricter containment measures,” according to the Beige Book based on information collected by the Fed’s 12 regional banks through Jan. 4.