Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fed's Beige Book: Economic activity increased at "modest to moderate" pace, Residential real estate "largely positive"

by Bill McBride on 7/18/2012 02:00:00 PM

Fed's Beige Book:

Reports from most of the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicated that overall economic activity continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace in June and early July.
This is a downgrade from the previous beige book that reported "moderate" growth.

And on real estate:
Reports on residential housing markets remained largely positive. Sales were characterized as improving in Philadelphia, New York, Richmond, Chicago, St. Louis, and Minneapolis, while home sales increased in Boston, Cleveland, Atlanta, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco.
...
Most Districts reported declines in home inventories. Homes prices have begun to stabilize in some markets and price increases were noted in select markets. Boston and Atlanta noted that appraisals were coming in below market prices.
...
Rental markets continued to strengthen by most accounts.
...
Recent activity in commercial real estate markets has been mixed. Modest improvements were noted in Boston, Atlanta, and St. Louis and demand strengthened in the San Francisco District. Softer conditions were reported in the New York and Richmond Districts, while demand held steady in the Philadelphia and Dallas Districts. Nonresidential construction activity varied as well.
"Prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and based on information collected before July 9, 2012."

More sluggish growth, but still "modest to moderate". And a few positive comments on residential real estate ...

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