Economic Buzz: US Business Owners Getting Nervous About Possible Trade War With China

US Business owners are getting nervous about a possible trade war with China, according to the Federal Reserves Beige Book. Outlooks remained positive, but contacts in various sectors including manufacturing, agriculture, and transportation expressed concern about the newly imposed and/or proposed tariffs, the Beige Book noted. Economic activity continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace across the 12 Federal Reserve Districts in March and early April. Widespread employment growth continued, but many respondents noted difficulty finding qualified candidates across a broad array of industries and skill levels. Reports of labor shortages over the reporting period were most often cited in high-skill positions. Looking at inflation, prices increased across all Districts, generally at a moderate pace, and businesses expect prices will continue to rise in the coming months.