Beige Book: Economic Activity Expands across Most Regions

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Economic activity expanded across most regions and sectors from early January through mid-February, according to the latest issue of the Beige Book, which surveys conditions in each of the 12 Federal Reserve districts. Six districts, including the St. Louis District,1 reported that their local economies expanded at moderate paces.

Real Estate

Residential real estate conditions were mixed across districts. Home sales and prices increased in most districts, while construction activity was mixed due to severe weather in some areas. Commercial real estate conditions were stable or improving in most districts.

Home sales increased in the St. Louis District on a year-over-year basis, while commercial and industrial real estate market conditions were mixed. Single-family housing permits increased in the majority of the District in December compared with the same period one year prior.

Labor Markets

Employment levels grew or remained stable in most districts and across a variety of sectors. Contacts in several districts noted strong labor demand and challenges filling a variety of skilled positions. Wage pressures were moderate across most districts, but some contacts reported increased wages to attract skilled workers for hard-to-fill positions.

In the past three months, wages in the St. Louis District grew moderately while employment and prices charged to consumers grew modestly compared with the same period one year prior.

Consumer Spending

Most districts reported an increase in overall consumer spending. Automobile sales were up in most districts as well.

Retail contacts in the St. Louis District said sales during the first two months of 2015 have stayed the same or increased relative to a year ago. Reports from auto dealers were also generally positive.

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.

Subscribe to
On the Economy

Get notified when new content is available on our On the Economy blog.

Email Alerts  |  RSS

About the Blog

The St. Louis Fed On the Economy blog features relevant commentary, analysis, research and data from our economists and other St. Louis Fed experts.

Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis or of the Federal Reserve System.

Contact Us

For media-related questions, email For all other blog-related questions or comments, email