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posted on 04 March 2015

March 2015 Beige Book: Economy Continues to Grow

Econintersect: The consolidated economic report from the 12 Federal Reserve Districts (Beige Book) said "that economic activity continued to expand across most regions and sectors from early January through mid-February". The previous report said "that national economic activity continued to expand during the reporting period of mid-November through late December, with most Districts reporting a "modest" or "moderate" pace of growth". Seems like the rate of growth is unchanged.

Please see the end of this post for words the Federal Reserve uses when the economy is entering a recession.

This report is based on information collected on or before 23 February 2015. The summary for this 04 March 2015 release reads as follows:

Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicate that economic activity continued to expand across most regions and sectors from early January through mid-February. Six Districts noted that the local economy expanded at a moderate pace since the prior reporting period. Activity rose modestly in Philadelphia and Cleveland, while it increased slightly in Kansas City. Dallas noted a similar pace of growth as in the previous period, while Richmond reported that activity slowed from the modest pace seen in the prior period. Boston noted that business contacts were fairly upbeat this period, notwithstanding the severe weather.

Consumer spending rose in most Districts, and contacts were generally optimistic about near-term sales. Travel and tourism also increased in the reporting Districts. Manufacturing generally posted gains across the Districts, although at varying rates. The demand for nonfinancial services also grew moderately on balance. Home sales increased in most Districts, while reports on residential construction were mixed. Commercial real estate market conditions remained stable or improved across the Districts. Banking conditions generally improved, and credit quality remained largely unchanged. Agricultural conditions generally worsened, and oil and natural gas drilling declined.

Payrolls remained stable or expanded across the Districts, and contacts noted employment gains in a broad range of sectors. Wage pressures remained moderate and were limited largely to workers in skilled occupations. Most District contacts cited only flat to slightly increasing prices.

Click the "source" hyperlink below to read the full report.

Fed's Words When Economy is entering a Recession

For the December 2007 recession, here is the lead up summary words from the Beige Books:

  • 28Nov2007 - "expanding"
  • 16Jan2008 - "increasing moderately"
  • 05Mar2008 - "growth slowed"
  • 16Apr2008 - "weakened"

For the March 2001 recession which ended in November 2001, here are the Beige Book summary words:

  • 17Jan2001 - "economic growth slowed"
  • 07Mar2001 - "sluggish to modest economic growth"
  • 02May2001 - "slow pace of economic activity"
  • 13Jun2001 - "little changed or decelerating"
  • 08Aug2001 - "slow growth or lateral movement"
  • 19Sep2001 - "sluggish"
  • 24Oct2001 - "weak economic activity"
  • 28Nov2001 - "remained soft"
  • 16Jan2002 - "remained weak"

Steven Hansen

Source: Federal Reserve

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