Beige Book report shows accelerated economic growth in Kansas City district

Most federal reserve sectors reported expansion in March, including the Kansas City district. Consumer spending increased substantially as retail, restaurant, auto and tourism sales rose. Manufacturing also expanded, new orders rising above 2020 levels for durable and non-durable goods.

Growth in the Tenth District economy accelerated in March, with most sectors expanding at a moderate pace.

Consumer spending increased moderately as retail, restaurant, auto, and tourism sales rose. A quarter of consumer spending contacts reported that the pace of vaccinations had boosted demand, and sales were expected to rise further in the coming months.

Manufacturing activity also expanded moderately, and new orders rose above year-ago levels for both durable and non-durable goods. Contacts reported moderate gains in wholesale trade, transportation, and professional and high-tech sales, with additional gains anticipated in the months ahead.

Home prices rose further as inventories declined and sales increased. Commercial real estate conditions held steady as vacancy rates edged down and absorption rates increased slightly. Energy activity increased moderately, with most District firms reporting higher revenues and profits.

Agricultural conditions remained favorable, supported by strong crop prices. Employment and wages rose at a modest pace. Input prices continued to rise faster than selling prices, but more than half of firms experiencing price pressures indicated that they were able to pass through a majority or all of their cost increases onto customers.