The newest Beige Book from the Federal Reserve is out. “Slow but steady” seems to sum up where the Dallas District of the Fed sits now. Most other regions of the country were characterized similarly.
The “historically low” levels in commercial real estate continue for now: “Office and industrial leasing activity remained feeble. Contacts said, ‘nothing is going on and business is very slow.'”
High-tech manufacturing was a bright spot, with growth in demand. Some of that was attributed to the release of Windows 7 driving PC sales:Â “The outlook is for continued moderate to strong growth over the next six months.”
Retailers said they had a “reasonable” holiday season: up over 2008, but not back to 2007 levels. They’re “cautiously optimistic.”
And home sales are up over the last six months. But “Several contacts said smaller builders were still unable to access credit to finance new construction. Outlooks were guarded but optimistic.”
The Beige Book features the findings of a Federal Reserve survey of contacts in various industries. It’s conducted and released the first and last month of each quarter.