Federal Reserve Releases March Beige Book and Related Sound Clips


ST. LOUIS — Audio highlights of the Federal Reserve's Beige Book, which summarize economic conditions for the United States as a whole and the Fed's Eighth District, are available for downloading. Produced in MP3 format, the entire audio clip runs approximately 3 minutes and 34 seconds and can be accessed by logging on to: www.stlouisfed.org/newsroom/multimedia/audio.cfm.

The voice on the clips is that of St. Louis Fed economist and research officer Michael R. Pakko, who discusses the national and District situations regarding:

  • overall economic conditions,
  • consumer spending,
  • manufacturing,
  • automotive sales,
  • residential and commercial real estate, and
  • banking.

The full print edition of the Beige Book can be accessed online by logging on to: http://www.federalreserve.gov/fomc/beigebook/2009/.

Named for the color of the cover and issued eight times a year, the Beige Book is best described as a collection of anecdotal information compiled primarily from various business and community leaders. These contacts provide this information confidentially, knowing that the Fed uses the information to put together a short-term snapshot of how the economy is doing. Although the Beige Book is not an in-depth report, the Federal Reserve uses it as one of many tools to help determine the direction of monetary policy.

With branches in Little Rock, Louisville and Memphis, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis serves the Eighth Federal Reserve District, which includes all of Arkansas, eastern Missouri, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, western Tennessee and northern Mississippi. The St. Louis Fed is one of 12 regional Reserve banks that, along with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., comprise the Federal Reserve System. As the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve System formulates U.S. monetary policy, regulates state-chartered member banks and bank holding companies, provides payment services to financial institutions and the U.S. government, and promotes community development and financial education.

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