Monday, April 18, 2011

Fed Beige Book: "USA Economic Activity Generally Continued to Improve" (Review) "Labor markets generally stronger"

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Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building in Washington

The Federal Reserve Board issued the much scrutinized Beige Book on April 13, 2011. Overall across the 12 Federal Reserve Districts, "economic activity generally continued to improve." The Federal Reserve wording and theme continues more positive regarding economic activity, recovery, and growth than in previous reports. No districts reported overall negative, slow, or held steady economic activity: As always, the Fed Beige Book, officially titled the Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District, is carefully worded.

USA Financial System
"Most Districts cited loan demand as either unchanged or slightly improved since the last report, although many of the Districts citing improvements noted weak demand in some market segments. Several Districts reported that credit standards were unchanged or slightly tighter and that competition for quality loans was intense."

Jobs Nationwide
"Most Districts reported that labor market conditions were generally stronger than in their last reports."

Economic Conditions Nationwide by Category Based on Information On or Before April 4, 2011:
Consumer Spending: "Consumer spending picked up modestly across most Districts since the last report."
Automobile Sales: "Automobile sales rose in most Districts."
Travel and Tourism: reports were mixed
Professional and Nonfinancial Services: "Non-financial service firms generally reported expansion."
Manufacturing activity: "All twelve Districts reported that manufacturing activity increased since their previous reports."
Transportation activity: "Reports from transportation services firms were mostly positive."
Residential Real Estate: "little changed from low levels or continued to weaken across all Districts"
Commercial Real Estate: "remained weak across all Districts"
Banking and Finance: "Most Districts cited loan demand as either unchanged or slightly improved"
Agriculture: "Assessments of agricultural activity were mixed."
Natural Resources: "Activity in the energy industry generally strengthened since the last report."
Employment: "Labor market conditions continued to strengthen modestly"
Wages: "Wage pressures were reported to be mostly contained"
Prices: "Input prices rose in most Districts"

Economic Conditions By Federal Reserve District Based on Information On or Before April 4, 2011
BostonBusiness activity in most sectors continued to expand
New Yorkeconomy has strengthened further
PhiladelphiaBusiness activity in the Third District has improved overall
ClevelandOn balance, economic activity in the Fourth District continued to expand at a modest pace.
RichmondFifth District economic activity generally improved
Atlantaeconomic activity advancing modestly
ChicagoEconomic activity in the Seventh District continued to increase
St. LouisEconomic activity in the Eighth District has continued to expand at a modest pace
Minneapoliseconomy expanded moderately
Kansas Cityeconomy expanded solidly
Dallaseconomy grew at a moderate pace
San FranciscoEconomic activity in the Twelfth District expanded moderately

This April 13, 2011 Beige Book, by district economic activity, and the previous March 2, 2011 report, are the most positive post-recession reports so far. No districts reported negative, slow or held steady economic activity. The wording in the latest 3 reports continues more optimistic than previous reports.

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