‘Modest’, ‘subdued’ economic activity for Mississippi regions

Overall lending at a sample of large banks increased modestly through August within the Federal Reserve’s St. Louis District, which includes northern Mississippi, reports the Fed’s Beige Book, a tracking of economic activity released by each of the 12 Fed district s on Sept. 7.

The new report details economic activity for the three-month period ending in August.

The Atlanta District, which encompasses central and southern Mississippi, noted that bankers reported continuing weakness in loan demand as both consumers and businesses were restrained in their borrowing activity.

“Most businesses continued to be cautious regarding adding permanent staff, with several indicating that they had chosen to hire temporary or contract workers to fill immediate labor needs,” the Atlanta District said.

St. Louis said overall economic activity in its district expanded at a “modest” pace, while Atlanta said activity expanded at a “very subdued pace.”

Credit standards for commercial and industrial loans remained unchanged for the St. Louis District, while demand for these loans ranged from about the same to moderately stronger, the Beige Book reported. Credit standards for commercial real estate loans were also unchanged, while demand for these loans ranged from about the same to moderately stronger, the report added.

For the Atlanta District, credit standards at banks and credit unions remained little-changed and some firms, such as newer businesses or those related to real estate, reported difficulty obtaining loans, according to the Beige Book report.

Contacts at large companies indicated they did not have many issues with credit availability. Many mentioned self-funding capital projects through the use of cash reserves or retained earnings. Some businesses signaled that they did not need additional credit, but had access to funds while others with financial issues struggled to get bank credit.

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