Federal Reserve System

Fed's beige book shows varied business strength

A suit store in Portland, ME.
A suit store in Portland, ME. Photo: Ben McCanna/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images.

The Fed's latest beige book released Wednesday showed U.S. business owners remain largely bullish on the economy but are losing faith in the longer-term outlook.

What's happening: Business activity varied across the country, with the West and South more upbeat than the Midwest and Great Plains, which are U.S. manufacturing hubs.

Central banks could be left behind on digital currencies

Illustration of a hand covering cryptocurrency
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Government leaders and central bankers are spending more time studying digital currencies, but don't look any closer to launching one than they were 6 months or a year ago.

Why it matters: Facebook, by contrast, appears to have a prime-time ready product — its Libra digital currency — and shows every intention of pushing forward, despite the recent abandonment by a quarter of the members of the currency's governing body.