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No happy ending in latest beige book

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The Wall Street Journal reports an unsurprising fall in economic activity in November. According to the Fed’s beige book report, activity fell in almost every sector, with retail and vehicle sales leading the decline. On a (slightly) higher note, sales were stable in the housing sector, despite almost universally weaker markets.

Lending activity slowed in most districts, notably New York and San Francisco; Cleveland and Philadelphia reported steady to higher loan activity, with some regional banks in Philadelphia even managing to pick up some new business.

The last beige book, released in mid-October, showed positive results for the energy and mining sectors, according to the Journal, but the new report shows those sectors softening as a result of lower output prices.