WASHINGTON (Jan. 17, 2013) — Economic activity expanded at a moderate pace in most Federal Reserve districts in late November and December, according to the Fed's January 2014 “Beige Book.”
“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,” said the report issued Jan. 15.
Retail sales were stronger in all districts during the period except St. Louis and Kansas City, where they were mixed, and Richmond, Va., where they softened, the report said.
On the other hand, Richmond had increased auto sales, as did San Francisco and Atlanta, it said.
All districts reported increases in manufacturing activity, though growth in that sector was somewhat slower in Kansas City, the report said. Real estate generally continued to improve, with most districts citing increased residential and commercial sales activity, residential and commercial construction, and home prices. Loans, however, did not increase substantially during the period.
The Federal Reserve issues the Beige Book every month, summarizing comments received from business and other contacts outside the Federal Reserve. Each Federal Reserve district compiles the report on a rotating basis; the Boston Federal Reserve was responsible for the January 2014 report.