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Week Ahead: Update on Economic Conditions in the Beige Book

Federal ReserveThe Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District, otherwise known as the Beige Book, will be released this Wednesday. The book, released eight times a year, gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its District through Bank and Branch director reports and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources. Summarizing this information, the Beige Book is an overall summary of the 12 district reports and prepared by a designated Federal Reserve Bank on a rotating basis.

The last Beige Book, released in April, reported increased economic activity between mid-February and the end of March. The pace of expansion was equally split between modest and moderate and additionally the pickup was evident to varying degrees across economic sectors.

Manufacturing continued its expansion at a modest to moderate pace, but freight shipment growth slowed slightly. As reports of stronger light vehicle sales were accompanied by softer reading in non-auto retail spending, consumer spending varied.

Reports suggested that residential construction accelerated somewhat though growth in home sales slowed partly due to lack of inventory. Nonresidential construction became more mixed in some regions, but overall remained strong. Leasing activity generally improved at a more modest pace.

More than half of all reports showed increased loan volumes, but only one said they were down modestly. Non-financial services continued to expand steadily.

The May Beige Book will be released Wednesday at 2 p.m. EST

 

This Week’s Schedule:

Case-Shiller U.S. Home Prices, Tuesday 9 a.m. EST

Pending Home Sales Index Report, Wednesday 10 a.m. EST

Zillow: Effects of International Buyers Felt at Higher End of the Housing Market, Wednesday

Zillow: Paint Colors That Help Sell a Home for More Money, Thursday

Freddie Mac Weekly Mortgage Survey, Thursday, 10 a.m. EST

 

About Author: Brianna Gilpin

Brianna Gilpin, Online Editor for MReport and DS News, is a graduate of Texas A&M University where she received her B.A. in Telecommunication Media Studies. Gilpin previously worked at Hearst Media, one of the nation's leading diversified media and information services companies. To contact Gilpin, email brianna.gilpin@thefivestar.com.
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