That’s from the US Federal Reserve’s quarterly Beige Book, a collection of anecdotal economic observations from the Fed’s branches around the country.
Overall, expectations are cautiously optimistic, with mostly activity flat or expanding modestly. However, the idea that the iPhone 5 launch (and that’s really what we’re talking about here, although other tech toys contributed) could boost air shippers like FedEx and UPS is fairly notable: It shows how Apple, the world’s biggest company, affects the global economy.
Before the iPhone 5′s launch, JP Morgan economists even predicted that the company’s newest phone would give a 0.25 to 0.5 percentage-point bump to US GDP in the fourth quarter. FedEx restricted employee vacation and training to prepare for a surge in volume when the new iPhone came out. After all, if you sell more than 5 million units in three days, the only way to get them over from Asia is to fly them.