Skip to content

Beige Book: National Economic Activity Expands

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The latest issue of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book suggests that economic activity continued to expand across all districts during the reporting period of mid-November to late December. Many contacts across the country expected somewhat faster growth over the coming months. In the St. Louis District,1 the pace of economic growth was slightly faster than the pace reported in the previous Beige Book.

Real Estate

Single-family residential real estate sales and construction were largely flat on balance across the districts. Several districts reported that sales declined somewhat on a year-over-year basis, including in the St. Louis District.

Labor Markets

Payrolls in a variety of sectors expanded moderately during the reporting period, and significant wage pressures continued to be limited largely to workers with particular technical skills. In the St. Louis District, manufacturing payrolls expanded.

Consumer Spending

Consumer spending increased in most districts, with generally modest year-over-year gains in retail sales, and auto sales showed moderate to strong growth on a year-over-year basis. Travel and tourism picked up during the reporting period.

In the St. Louis District, anecdotal reports from retail contacts indicated that consumer demand had grown since the previous reporting period, with contacts attributing growth to low gas prices, improving regional labor markets and low interest rates.

Notes and References

1 The St. Louis Fed 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.