The Federal Reserve Board reports that economic activity is looking up, a bit, across most of the Fed’s 12 districts, based on information through November 20. Only four of the 12 districts, Atlanta, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Richmond, “reported that conditions were little changed and/or mixed,” since the last report.
The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, released December 2, notes a moderate “pick-up” in consumer spending in “general merchandise and vehicles,” with “relatively robust sales of used autos,” reported in some districts. It characterized non-auto inventories, as we move into the holidays, as “lean.” Manufacturing is reported to be “steady to moderately improving across most of the country.”
The lower end of the residential real estate market is leading “some pickup in home sales, though prices were generally said to be flat or declining modestly,” but construction is still “weak” for the residential sector. Commercial real estate conditions–which held up better in the beginning of the economic crisis–are reportedly “very weak and, in many cases, deteriorating.”