The Federal Reserve Released its Beige Book today, which shows that economic recovery continues across the U.S., with all 12 Fed districts reporting improvements. The improvements reach into all economic sectors – consumer spending, tourism, transportation, manufacturing, and labor markets. Even housing has seen some improvement in a few districts, although improvements in the housing market are definitely mixed. Commercial construction, too, is still heavily impacted, and is likely to remain so for some time, although some increases in the usage of commercial space were noted, particularly in healthcare and manufacturing.
All districts noted some level of impact from the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, as manufacturers express concern about supply chain interruptions.
All states but two are officially in recovery. The two remaining are Mississippi and Nevada.
Wage pressures were described by most districts as weak or subdued, but higher commodity costs were widely reported to be putting increasing pressures on prices. Energy prices were cited most often, but raw materials in general were an increasing concern of businesses. The ability to pass through cost increases varied across districts, with manufacturers generally finding less resistance to price increases than either retail or construction (where weak demand was a limiting factor).
Loan demand was either unchanged or up slightly in most districts.
4.13.11 (Source: Federal Reserve)