The U.S. economy showed signs of a nascent recovery at the beginning of July, as many states lifted lockdown orders and consumer activity began to resume, a new report from the Federal Reserve showed.
“Economic activity increased in almost all Districts, but remained well below where it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the central bank said in its Beige Book survey released Wednesday in Washington.
The report, prepared by the Chicago Fed, was based on anecdotal information collected by the 12 regional reserve banks on or before July 6.
Although economic activity may have picked up at the end of May and beginning of June, a resurgence in coronavirus cases in many states has likely dampened the recovery since the Beige Book’s survey period. California has again imposed lockdown measures, and Texas and Florida have curbed certain activity.
Fed Governor Lael Brainard pointed to a highly uncertain economic outlook in a speech on Tuesday, saying the central bank should turn its focus to providing accommodative monetary policy over the longer term.
“A thick fog of uncertainty still surrounds us, and downside risks predominate,” Brainard said in remarks Tuesday to a virtual event hosted by the National Association for Business Economics.