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The Beige Book was released today from the Federal Reserve, an anecdotal description of the regional economies by the 12 regional banks. The language has been changing since the release of the last few reports. In Jeremy Peter’s Growth Slowing Across the Country, Fed Regional Reports Say [NYT].

Read the report [Federal Reserve].

Although the Beige Book does not report stats (thank goodness, we have enough of those), it is thought to provide some insight as to what the Fed might be thinking. The weakening economic conditions may be a signal that the Fed is nearly done with their systematic rate increase strategy of a 25 basis point increase that started in June 2004.

While the commercial real estate market was reported to be strong across the country, the residential housing market has slowed in nearly all regions with two exceptions: the Dallas region, which reported strong demand and robust construction; the St. Louis region which indicated that the number of sales had not changed.

The weakening residential real estate market is characterized by the declining number of sales, rising inventory and stagnant prices.

[Disclosure: I am one of interviewees for the New York Region]

Economically Speaking, Its Beige [Matrix]


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