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US economy sees signs of stabilisation

Source: PTI
September 10, 2009 18:53 IST
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US flag and the Statue of LibertySpurring hopes that recovery could well be round the corner, economic activities in many regions in the US have gained momentum in recent months.

The recession-hit American economy is slowly witnessing signs of stabilisation, with significant reduction in the pace of GDP contraction and job losses. Going by the latest Beige Book from the US Federal Reserve, economic activity in most of the districts in the country have either improved or stabilised.

"Reports from the 12 Federal Reserve Districts indicate that economic activity continued to stabilise in July and August," according to the Beige Book which provides a snapshot of the American economy.

However, the employment market continued to be weak even though the rate of job losses has come down.

"Labour market conditions remained weak across all Districts, but several also noted an uptick in temporary hiring and a decline in the pace of layoffs," the report said.

Providing hopes of an early recovery, American GDP shrank just one per cent in the second quarter of 2009 as compared to 6.4 per cent contraction in the first three months.

Even though, the unemployment rate has touched a 26-year high of 9.7 per cent in August, the pace of job cuts has declined.

According to the Beige Book, Dallas has indicated that economic activity had 'firmed', while Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Richmond, and San Francisco mentioned signs of improvement.

"Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Minneapolis and New York generally described economic activity as stable or showing signs of stabilisation," it added.

In the district of St Louis, the pace of decline appeared to be moderating. Meanwhile, the report said that consumer spending continued to be soft and loan demand was weak in most of the districts.

To tackle the worst ever financial turmoil since the 1930s Great Depression, the US government has already pumped in hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy through various programmes including bank bailouts and massive stimulus packages.

The US economy officially slipped into recession in December 2007 and things turned for the worse, with the failure of then famed Wall Street entity Lehman Brothers in September last year.

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