The US Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book today, a report published eight times per year that summarises economic conditions throughout the bank’s 12 federal districts.
The last Beige Book, released on September 4, outlined modest economic growth while highlighting concerns surrounding tariffs and trade policy, which had a particularly negative impact on the agricultural sector. Still, many businesses maintained short-term optimism moving into October.
Today’s report is likely to indicate similar short-term confidence, with medium to long-term opacity lying in uncertainty regarding US-China trade policy.
With China’s economy slowing and President Trump eager to deliver on a key campaign promise going into the 2020 campaign season, both sides are feeling the pressure to ink out a deal. On Friday, Trump announced that the first phase of a deal was in the works, but he provided no specifics, leaving analysts sceptical.
In the medium term—should this deal not fall apart—expect Trump to grant a bit of leeway regarding tariffs and possibly intellectual property protections in exchange for Beijing’s increasing imports of US agricultural products. This would solidify support from swing-state farmers, a critical component of the president’s base.
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Max is Foreign Brief's Chief Executive Officer. A Latin America specialist, Max is an expert in regional political and economic trends, focusing particularly on the Southern Cone.