Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fed's Beige Book Report



- Activity continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace during the reporting period of early July through late August. Eight Districts characterized growth as moderate; of the remaining four, Boston, Atlanta, and San Francisco reported modest growth, and Chicago indicated activity had improved. Consumer spending rose in most Districts, reflecting, in part, strong demand for automobiles and housing-related goods.

Activity in the travel and tourism sector expanded in most areas. Demand for non financial services, including professional and transportation services, increased slightly on net. Manufacturing activity expanded modestly.

Residential real estate activity increased moderately in most Districts, and demand for nonresidential real estate gained overall. Lending activity was mixed. Lending standards were largely unchanged, while credit quality improved.

Demand for agricultural products was strong during the reporting period, but growing conditions and production in some areas were somewhat weak as a consequence of extreme weather. Demand for natural resource products was stable or up slightly, and extraction increased in anticipation of further demand growth.

- For most occupations and industries, hiring held steady or increased modestly relative to the prior reporting period. Upward price pressures remained subdued, and prices increased slightly during the reporting period. Wage pressures continued to be modest overall.

- Reports indicated that consumer spending rose in most Districts. A few Districts mentioned that back-to-school sales contributed to overall consumer spending growth

- Attractive financing conditions and pent-up demand supported a robust pace of automobile sales in most Districts. New York noted that sales of high-end brands were especially robust.

- Manufacturing activity expanded modestly during the reporting period. Kansas City noted a slight contraction in the previous reporting period but indicated that manufacturing activity had expanded moderately in recent weeks.

- Activity in residential real estate markets increased moderately. The pace of sales of existing single-family homes continued to increase moderately in most Districts. Sales activity in New York City's co-op and condominium market was described as unusually strong in July and August, and the Cleveland District reported that year-to-date sales of existing single-family homes were up substantially relative to the same period last year.

- Lending activity weakened a bit, and several Districts reported less-favorable conditions than in the preceding reporting period.

- Wage pressures remained modest overall. The Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts reported that wage pressures were largely subdued. Cleveland and Dallas highlighted that, overall, wage pressures at home building and other construction-related firms were contained. New York reported that some firms have become increasingly willing to negotiate salaries

- Upward price pressures were subdued, and price increases were limited during the reporting period. Reports from many Districts indicated modest growth, no change, or slight decreases in overall commodity and input prices.
- Source

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