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Fed survey finds adverse impact from government shutdown

Key Points
  • The Federal Reserve says the U.S. economy was expanding in January and February, but half the country was seeing fallout from the 35-day partial government shutdown.
  • In its latest report on economic conditions around the country, the Fed said that 10 of its 12 regions reported "slight-to-moderate growth" over the past two months.
  • Philadelphia and St. Louis reported that conditions were "flat."
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Fed's Beige Book: Half of districts say shutdown hurt growth

The Federal Reserve says the U.S. economy was expanding in January and February, but half the country was seeing fallout from the 35-day partial government shutdown. Some manufacturers expressed worries about weakening global demand for their products and adverse effects from President Donald Trump's trade policies.

In its latest report on economic conditions around the country, the Fed said that 10 of its 12 regions reported "slight-to-moderate growth" over the past two months. Two — Philadelphia and St. Louis — reported that conditions were "flat."

The Fed report, known as the beige book, will be used when central bank officials meet March 19-20 to consider what to do with interest rates. The expectation is that the central bank will remain "patient" and leave rates unchanged.

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Key Points
  • Trade developments could keep a lift in the stock market as negotiators for China and the U.S. continue to talk in the week ahead.
  • But the Fed comes back in play Wednesday afternoon, when it releases minutes from its late January meeting, where it indicated it could pause in its rate hiking cycle and be flexible with its balance sheet.
  • Walmart reports earnings Tuesday, and strategists are watching the big discounter closely after December's retail sales as tracked by the Commerce Department fell the most in nine years.