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Fed Districts Report Continued Moderated Economic Expansion

MoneyThe 12 Federal Reserve Districts reported continued modest economic expansion from mid-August through early October in the Fed’s October 2015 Beige Book released Thursday.

New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago, and St. Louis all reported a modest pace of economic growth while Minneapolis, Dallas, and San Francisco reported moderate economic growth. Increased economic activity since the previous Beige Book was issued in early September was reported in Boston and Richmond while a slight decline in economic activity was reported in Kansas City, according to the Fed.

The reporting period for the latest Beige Book found residential housing markets have generally improved since the last report with increasing home prices and sales volumes driving the improved housing markets. The latest report found generally positive reports from the banking and finance sectors due to increased lending activity, improved loan quality, and slightly eased lending standards, according to the Fed.

Nearly all Fed districts reported rising residential home prices and more sales volume since the previous Beige Book report was issued. The one notable exception was in Chicago, which reported generally steady home prices and sales volume. The market for lower- and moderately-priced homes outperformed the high end of the residential market in a number of districts. Low inventory was reported in Boston, New York, Richmond, and St. Louis, while Philadelphia and Dallas reported adequate housing inventory.

Strong residential construction was reported in Atlanta, while declines in new home construction was reported in Minneapolis in Kansas City. A lack of new home construction was reported in Philadelphia, while labor shortages restrained new home construction in the Dallas District.

Reports for the banking sector were generally positive, while credit conditions were mixed but improved for the most part, according to the Fed. Declining delinquency rates and improved loan quality were reported in New York; the districts of Cleveland, Richmond, and Kansas City reported little change since the last Beige Book. Eased lending standards for residential real estate were reported in Richmond and Chicago, with no change in New York, Kansas City, and Dallas. Tighter lending conditions were reported in the San Francisco District.

About Author: Brian Honea

Brian Honea's writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master's degree from Amberton University in Garland.

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