Fed’s Beige Book: Economic activity improved at slight to modest pace

The latest Fed report on the economy

  • Growth continued but was slight-to-modest
  • Manufacturing generally increased at moderate pace
  • Commercial real estate conditions continued to deteriorate in many districts
  • Consumer spending growth remained positive, but some Districts reported a leveling off of retail sales and a slight uptick in tourism activity.
  • Districts characterized the outlooks of contacts as generally optimistic or positive, but with a considerable degree of uncertainty
  • Banking contacts in many Districts expressed concern that delinquency rates may rise in coming months
  • Overall, consumer prices across Districts rose modestly

There are some worrisome comments on New York real estate in the report, saying condo sales were down nearly 50% y/y with inventories rising sharply. They also noted that office rental rates were down 8% y/y.