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Ohio economy growing modestly, Beige Book says

Beacon Journal staff report

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While hiring remained sluggish, the Ohio economy continued to expand modestly, according to the latest anecdotal information from the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Fourth District economy expanded moderately the past six weeks, according to the report released Wednesday.

Across the Fourth District, which includes all of Ohio and parts of neighboring states:

• Shale gas activity held steady but was slowing in large part because of low prices for natural gas; production levels were at record highs.

• Hiring was sluggish across all sectors.

• Manufacturing production was steady or higher compared to a year ago, while demand for manufactured products was moderate. Only a few manufacturers said they were proceeding with expansion plans; some companies said economic uncertainty put expansion on hold.

• Housing activity was steady, with sales of new and existing homes better than a year ago.

• Retailers reported strong sales in August and September, with new motor vehicle sales up modestly from a year ago.

• Freight volume growth slowed.


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