Fed Releases Latest Beige Book

March 3, 2011 (Jeff Alan)
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Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicated overall economic activity continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace in January and early February according to the latest Beige Book released by the Federal Reserve.

Overall real estate sales and construction remained at low levels across all districts with Richmond, Atlanta, and Chicago Districts reporting a slight improvement while activity was mixed across New England. New Yorker reported that the housing market was stable with some areas of improvement, while demand was unchanged in San Francisco.

Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Dallas described recent activity as sluggish, and St. Louis reported sales continued to decline. Construction in Cleveland, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Kansas City was described as flat.

Home prices were reportedly mixed with most areas reporting prices little changed or observing downward pricing pressure.

The outlook for residential sales and construction is expected to improve marginally, but activity is expected to remain at low levels.

Loan demand varied across the districts. Demand for residential real estate loans increased in Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Dallas but was weaker in New York, Cleveland, St. Louis, and Kansas City.

Most Districts reported that credit standards were unchanged to tighter.

The Beige Book is a report published eight times a year by the Federal Reserve Board.

Tags: Federal Reserve, Beige Book, real estate sales, construction, home prices, loan activity, credit standards