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Federal Reserve Beige Book Available Now
Thursday, March 5, 2015 6:40 AM

Eight times per year, the Federal Reserve Bank releases a summary of current economic conditions, commonly known as the Beige Book. The latest report is available now here.

The Federal Reserve Bank gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions through reports from bank and branch directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources. The Beige Book summarizes this information by district and sector. An overall summary of the 12 district reports is prepared by a designated Federal Reserve Bank on a rotating basis.

The March update indicates that economic activity continued to expand across most regions and sectors from early January through mid-February. Six districts noted that the local economy expanded at a moderate pace since the prior reporting period. Activity rose modestly in Philadelphia and Cleveland, while it increased slightly in Kansas City. Dallas noted a similar pace of growth as in the previous period, while Richmond reported that activity slowed from the modest pace seen in the prior period. Boston noted that business contacts were fairly upbeat this period, notwithstanding the severe weather.

Consumer spending rose in most districts, and contacts were generally optimistic about near-term sales. Travel and tourism also increased in the reporting districts. Manufacturing generally posted gains across the districts, although at varying rates. The demand for nonfinancial services also grew moderately on balance. Home sales increased in most districts, while reports on residential construction were mixed. Commercial real estate market conditions remained stable or improved across the districts. Banking conditions generally improved, and credit quality remained largely unchanged. Agricultural conditions generally worsened, and oil and natural gas drilling declined.

For much more information, go to the Federal Reserve Report.