Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fed’s Beige Books Shows Continued Expansion

Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts suggest economic activity continued to expand across most regions and sectors from late November through the end of the year. Furthermore, the economic outlook is positive in most Districts, with some reports citing expectations of “more of the same” and some expecting a pickup in growth.

Nine Districts indicated the local economy was expanding at a moderate pace. Among these, the Atlanta and Chicago Districts saw conditions improve compared with the previous reporting period, Boston and Philadelphia cited modest growth, and Kansas City reported the economy held steady in December.

Three-quarters of the Districts indicated that retail activity had increased since the last report, and all Districts reported year-over-year increases in manufacturing activity.

Real estate markets generally continued to improve, according to District reports. Most cited increased residential sales activity and construction as well as rising home prices.

District reports that mention banking noted that loan volumes have not changed substantially since the last reporting period. In addition, while no Districts reported major changes in credit standards, some did cite instances where financial institutions relaxed their underwriting standards. Credit quality held steady or improved.

Read the full Federal Reserve report.

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