Unformatted text preview: profit margins were declining. There was also a reported increase in delinquencies. Banks saw a decline in credit quality, namely on the consumer side. Bankers anticipated a continuing drop in loan demand and restrictive credit conditions. Energy Natural gas production declined while oil production increased. Prices for crude oil rose significantly. Contacts reported that material and equipment costs increased since October. Transportation Truck freight volume declined from October. Contacts reported that the shipment of construction supplies was particularly low. Outlook for 2008 is grim. Increasing fuel costs was an important issue to companies; they were not able to recover the entire amount of fuel costs through surcharges. There was a decrease in employment levels due to layoffs. Monetary Policy Recommendation The central bank should lower interest rates in order to help companies borrow and spur growth....
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- Spring '08
- natural gas production, current spending levels