Highlights from the Fed's latest economic survey

AP News
Posted: Sep 07, 2011 5:47 PM
Highlights from the Fed's latest economic survey

The Federal Reserve's 12 regional bank districts all grew in late July and August, and five of the regions grew slightly or modestly. The other seven described their growth as slow, subdued or sluggish.

The survey, known as the Beige Book, was released Wednesday and is based on anecdotal information from the Fed's 12 regional banks. The report covers the period from the last two weeks of July until Aug. 26.

Here are some highlights:


(This region covers Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and part of Connecticut.)

Businesses reported mixed results. Some manufacturers cited slowing demand. Retail sales were mostly flat. Tourism was up. Real estate markets remained sluggish.


(This region covers New York and parts of Connecticut and New Jersey.)

Economic growth remained sluggish. Initial reports indicated widespread disruptions from Hurricane Irene with flooding and power outages. Prior to the hurricane, retail sales were up modestly from a year ago while tourism activity was strong.


(Includes Delaware and parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.)

Business activity was mixed. Manufacturing declined since the last report. Year-over-year sales for general retailers were down slightly. Auto sales rose. Home sales and construction were affected by the volatility in the stock market.


(Includes Ohio and parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky.)

The economy grew at a slow pace. Many business contacts downgrading their near-term outlooks. Factory output was stable. Some manufacturers reported a decline in new orders. New car sales increased. Home construction remained sluggish.


(Includes Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington D.C., and parts of West Virginia.)

Economic activity slowed since the previous report. Manufacturing pulled back markedly. Retail sales weakened. Residential construction and home sales declined further. Hotels along the coast lost bookings because of Hurricane Irene, although hotel managers farther inland reported solid bookings.


(Includes Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.)

Economic activity continued at a very subdued pace. Retail sales grew more slowly than during the previous reporting period, although tourism remained solid. Sales of previously owned homes improved in Florida but were weak elsewhere.


(Includes Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and parts of Illinois and Indiana.)

Economic activity expanded more slowly in July and August. Business and consumer confidence weakened. Manufacturing output was slower. Construction activity decreased. Consumer and business spending were little changed.


(Includes Missouri, Arkansas and Kentucky, and parts of Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee and Mississippi.)

The region's economy continued to grow at a modest pace. Manufacturing increased. Retail sales declined slightly in July and August compared to a year ago. Auto sales rose. Home sales declined.


(Includes Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin and Michigan.)

The economy grew slightly. There was increased activity in consumer spending, tourism, residential and commercial real estate, manufacturing and mining. Crop reports were down from a year ago but prices were up.


(Includes Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and parts of Missouri and New Mexico.)

The economy expanded modestly in late July and early August. Consumer spending rose because of solid back-to-school shopping and stronger-than-expected auto sales. Manufacturing grew slightly. Rising costs and extreme weather trimmed farm profits.


(This region covers Texas and parts of New Mexico and Louisiana.)

The region's economy grew at a modest pace. Housing remained weak. The energy industry expanded at a robust pace. Severe drought conditions caused farm income to deteriorate further. Agricultural losses were estimated to have reached $5.2 billion, surpassing the $4.1 billion record set in 2006.


(This region covers California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Hawaii and Alaska.)

Economic activity expanded modestly. Manufacturing activity grew. Most employees didn't see wages increase. Home sales were sluggish. Demand for bank loans was somewhat lower.