Beige Book Summary

Here are snippets from the Beige Book where the economy “continued its moderate recovery.” Mfr’g “activity continued to recover” but construction was “weak.” “Retailers indicated that sales appeared to be higher in this holiday season than in ’09 and, in some cases, better than expectations.” “Non financial service sector contacts cited demand increases ranging from slight to ‘relatively strong.'” “Financial conditions were mixed.” “Residential RE remained weak across all Districts…CRE construction was subdued or slow” while leasing activity picked up in a few regions. Importantly for Fed policy, “Most District reports cited comments by both retailers and mfr’s that costs were rising, but indicated that competitive pressures had led to only modest pass thru into final prices.” “Labor markets appeared to be firming somewhat” but with little wage pressure.

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