The Federal Reserve released The Beige Book, its Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District, on Sept 9. The twelve Federal Reserve Districts reported a fairly wide range of economic activity. The reports were relatively upbeat, saying that “economic activity had firmed,” in Dallas, and there were “signs of improvement” in Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Richmond, and San Francisco. The Fed reported “stable or showing signs of stabilization,” in Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Minneapolis, and New York, while in St Louis, “the pace of decline appeared to be moderating.”

Most districts reported “flat retail sales” but also said that sales were “boosted” by the Obama Administration’s wildly popular “cash for clunkers” initiative. Labor was reported to be weak in all districts

“Downward pressure on home prices continued in most Districts, although Dallas and New York noted that local prices were firming” The report noted that “Local prices,” of real estate in New York and Dallas were “firming.”

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Comments? Please send them to kmcbride@wealthmanagerweb.com. Kate McBride is editor in chief of Wealth Manager and a member of The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard.