Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Fed's Beige Book: Economic Activity Expanded, Respondents "generally optimistic"

by Bill McBride on 6/03/2015 02:00:00 PM

Fed's Beige Book "Prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas based on information collected on or before May 22, 2015"

Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts suggest overall economic activity expanded during the reporting period from early April to late May. Activity in the Richmond, Chicago, Minneapolis, and San Francisco Districts was characterized as growing at a moderate pace, while the New York, Philadelphia, and St. Louis Districts cited modest growth. Contacts in the Boston District reported mixed conditions, and the Cleveland and Kansas City Districts indicated a slight pace of expansion. Compared to the previous report, the pace of growth slowed slightly in the Dallas District but held steady in the Atlanta District. Outlooks among respondents were generally optimistic, with growth expected to continue at a modest to moderate pace in several districts. ...

Manufacturing activity generally held steady or increased over the reporting period, except for in the Dallas District where it was slightly weaker and in the Kansas City District where it fell markedly.
And on real estate:
Residential real estate activity and construction expanded in most districts since the prior report, and outlooks were largely positive. Homes sales rose strongly in the Minneapolis District on a year-over-year basis, while more modest to moderate gains were reported by all of the remaining districts, except for Philadelphia where builders reported mixed conditions for new home sales and brokers noted slightly slower existing-home sales in April on a year-over-year basis. ... Residential construction was flat to up during the reporting period, although a few districts reported a slower pace of homebuilding activity due to financing and capacity constraints and severe weather.

Commercial real estate leasing and construction activity improved in most districts, and outlooks were optimistic.
emphasis added