He said the near-term outlook for economic activity remains broadly positive, but some regions have noted increased uncertainty and more cautious optimism compared to previous months.
Employment and inflation.
The report said that employment increased despite the decline in employment growth due to the decrease in the supply of workers.
Most regions reported significant price hikes, and the board was divided as some expected it to continue rising, while others expected it to fall.
Fed officials are preparing to start reducing the Fed’s $120 billion monthly bond purchases as soon as, possibly next month, after what most see as a significant improvement in the labor market since the end of last year, despite weak-than-expected job growth in August and September.
Inflation has remained well above the Fed’s 2% target for the past several months, but Fed monetary policymakers are focusing on the drivers of these increases and whether they will ease, as most expect, in the coming year.
Several policymakers have said recently that if this is not the case, the Fed may have to start raising interest rates sooner than is widely assumed.
The report provided some clues in this regard, with most regions reporting price pressures stemming from bottlenecks in supply chains.