The Federal Reserve has released its latest Beige Book and it contains many of the same cautious and somewhat hopeful comments you have been hearing about before and after the FOMC’s decision to embark on QE3. Today’s release is a summary of the Fed’s commentary on current economic conditions by each Federal Reserve district. It was prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the data was based on information collected on or before September 28, 2012.
The Beige Book showed that economic activity expanded modestly and that consumer spending is flat or up marginally. Vehicle sales are said to be stable. Housing conditions have shown widespread improvements, but the commercial real estate market was mixed due to a softening office market. Tourism was called robust in most geographic regions.
Manufacturing conditions were called mixed yet somewhat improved. Loan demand was steady or stronger as credit standards were little changed. The drought was shown to have hurt some regions and overall agricultural conditions were mixed. Wage pressure was modest while employee medical benefits were shown to have risen in some districts.
JON C. OGG