WASHINGTON – The economy is finally beginning to show signs of stabilizing in some regions of the country, bolstering hopes of a broader-based recovery this year.
A Federal Reserve snapshot of economic conditions issued Wednesday found that most of the Fed’s 12 regions indicated either that the recession was easing or that economic activity had “begun to stabilize, albeit at a low level.”
The economy remains fragile. But the fact that some Fed regions reported signs of activity beginning to level out raises hope that the recession, which started in December 2007, is drawing to a close.
Four Fed regions — New York, Cleveland, Kansas City and San Francisco — pointed to “signs of stabilization,” the survey said. Two regions — Chicago and St. Louis — reported that the pace of economic declined appeared to be “moderating.”
Five other regions — Boston, Philadelphia, Richmond, Atlanta and Dallas — described activity as “slow,” “subdued” or “weak.” Only one region — Minneapolis — indicated that its downward slide in economic activity had worsened.
Combined, the assessments of businesses on the front lines of the economy appeared to be brighter than those they provided for the previous Fed report in mid-June.