Skip to content

Beige Book: Economic Activity Expands in Most Fed Districts

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Economic activity expanded across most regions, according to the latest issue of the Beige Book, which surveys conditions in each of the 12 Federal Reserve districts. Districts reported a range of economic conditions from moderate growth to holding steady. The St. Louis District1 was one of three districts to report modest growth.

Real Estate

Residential real estate conditions were steady or improved in all Fed districts except one (New York). Most districts reported a tight supply of residential real estate in most price points of the market. Many contacts across the country expected a greater-than-normal increase in home sales once spring arrived.

Activity in the St. Louis District was steady, with home sales increasing on a year-over-year basis. However, residential construction activity decreased in most District metro areas in February compared with one year ago. Commercial and industrial real estate activity was mixed.

Labor Markets

Labor market conditions were stable or showed modest improvement in most districts. The St. Louis District was one of six districts to report increases in hiring or employment levels. Anecdotal information suggested modest employment growth and moderate wage pressures in the District.

Consumer Spending

Auto sales rose in most districts, and travel and tourism started to rebound from the harsh winter weather. The St. Louis District was one of five districts to report higher retail sales, and the outlook for retailers in the District was generally optimistic. Also, restaurant sales grew moderately during the reporting period.

Notes and References

1 The St. Louis District includes all of Arkansas and parts of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.

Additional Resources

Posted In Federal ReserveLaborHousing  |  Tagged beige bookreal estatelaborconsumer spending
Commenting Policy: We encourage comments and discussions on our posts, even those that disagree with conclusions, if they are done in a respectful and courteous manner. All comments posted to our blog go through a moderator, so they won't appear immediately after being submitted. We reserve the right to remove or not publish inappropriate comments. This includes, but is not limited to, comments that are:
  • Vulgar, obscene, profane or otherwise disrespectful or discourteous
  • For commercial use, including spam
  • Threatening, harassing or constituting personal attacks
  • Violating copyright or otherwise infringing on third-party rights
  • Off-topic or significantly political
The St. Louis Fed will only respond to comments if we are clarifying a point. Comments are limited to 1,500 characters, so please edit your thinking before posting. While you will retain all of your ownership rights in any comment you submit, posting comments means you grant the St. Louis Fed the royalty-free right, in perpetuity, to use, reproduce, distribute, alter and/or display them, and the St. Louis Fed will be free to use any ideas, concepts, artwork, inventions, developments, suggestions or techniques embodied in your comments for any purpose whatsoever, with or without attribution, and without compensation to you. You will also waive all moral rights you may have in any comment you submit.
comments powered by Disqus

The St. Louis Fed uses Disqus software for the comment functionality on this blog. You can read the Disqus privacy policy. Disqus uses cookies and third party cookies. To learn more about these cookies and how to disable them, please see this article.