Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Beige Book Says Modest to Moderate Economic Growth in Most Regions

The Beige Book is prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia as is designed to gauge economic activity across various regions of the U.S. The recent (September 3rd, 2014) update shows broad economic growth with a few exceptions in construction, agriculture and wage pressure. Higher growth rates were experienced in Philadelphia, Atlanta, St. Louis, and Kansas City while moderate growth was experienced in New York, Cleveland, Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas, and San Francisco. 

Consumer Spending and Tourism: Improvements in consumer spending. Auto sales were raising and nearly every district experienced improvements in tourism. 

Nonfinancial Services: Strong growth in professional and technology services with moderate growth in freight shipment. 

Manufacturing: Moderate growth in manufacturing throughout most regions with increasing demand for steel. 

Real Estate and Construction: A mixed bag with some regions showing moderate growth and others stagnating. 

Banking and Finance: Growth is most regions with business credit and auto loans strong. There is less demand for housing loans which is in line with slack construction. 

Agriculture and Natural Resources: High yield crops lowered prices for farmers creating mixed results. Higher demand for energy is realized throughout the nation. 

Employment, Wages, Prices: Stable with some skilled labor shortages of information technology workers in Boston District, truck drivers in New York, and construction workers in Atlanta. Wages are not yet under pressure in most areas with the exception of a few high demand growth sectors. 

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