- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 3, 2003

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The worst blackout in U.S. history seems to have had only a limited effect on the economy, which flashed more growth signals in July and August.

The Federal Reserve’s latest snapshot of economic conditions around the country, released yesterday, said that although five of the Fed’s 12 districts — New York, Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas — noted that business was affected by the mid-August power outage, “the effects were generally small.”

“Even where firms were closed for several days,” the Fed survey said, the affected businesses “are not anticipating difficulties in making up for lost production or shipments.”

On the economy as a whole, the Fed’s survey said that progress was being made.

Reports from the Fed’s districts “indicate that the economy continued to improve in July and August,” the report said. “In some districts, improvement occurred in selected sectors and in others it was broad-based.”

Even in the Dallas district, where activity remains generally weak, business contacts were more optimistic about the economic outlook, the Fed survey pointed out.

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