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ST. LOUIS ¾ 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 can be accessed by logging on to: http://www.stlouisfed.org/newsroom/multimedia/audio/20110413-BeigeBook.cfm.
The voice on the clip is that of St. Louis Fed senior economist Rubén Hernández-Murillo, who discusses the District’s situation regarding:
The full print edition of the Beige Book can be accessed online by logging on to: http://www.federalreserve.gov/fomc/beigebook/2011/.
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.