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Beige Book: Economic activity expands in all 12 U.S. districts
WASHINGTON (7/17/14)--Each of the 12 districts tracked by the Federal Reserve witnessed an expansion in economic activity over the last month, according to the Fed's Beige Book, which broadly summarizes economic conditions throughout the United States.

Moderate economic growth was seen in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas and San Francisco, while the remaining districts reported a slower pace of expansion.

Tourism, which expanded in all districts, was one of the strongest areas in the report, with retail sales--driven by auto sales--and manufacturing also improving over the month. 

"The Federal Reserve's July Beige Book report depicts an economy that has markedly improved since the previous report and is heading in the right direction," said Christopher Velarides, Moody's analyst ( Economy.com July 16).

Released Wednesday, the report is based on information collected before July 7.

Real estate activity varied across all districts, the report said, with many relaying low inventory and climbing home prices. Multifamily sales and leasing continued to surge, especially in New York and Dallas.

Further, loan volumes rose throughout the United States with increases reported by the majority of the Fed's districts. Credit quality nearly uniformly improved as well.

Labor market conditions also perked up, with all 12 districts citing slight to moderate growth in employment--though several districts had trouble finding workers for skilled positions.

While wages increased for positions where those skilled workers were needed wages remained modest for the majority of the country, the report said.


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