Highlights from the Fed's latest economic survey

AP News
Posted: Nov 30, 2011 4:55 PM
Highlights from the Fed's latest economic survey

The economy expanded at a slow to moderate pace in most areas of the country over the past two months, but hiring was weak, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday.

The survey, known as the Beige Book, is based on anecdotal information from the Fed's 12 regional banks. The report is based on information collected before Nov. 18.

Here are some highlights:

BOSTON (includes Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and part of Connecticut):

Businesses reported revenue increases but an uncertain outlook. Software and information technology service companies reported strong demand. Real estate markets remained weak.

NEW YORK (includes New York and parts of Connecticut and New Jersey):

The economy is still growing slowly. Manufacturers report business conditions are stable but they plan to add workers in coming months. Consumer spending is expanding at a moderate pace.

PHILADELPHIA (includes Delaware and parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey):

Business activity has returned to a path of slow overall growth. An early-season snowstorm caused widespread utility outages but boosted consumer demand for winter clothing.

CLEVELAND (includes Ohio, Kentucky and parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia):

Business activity expanded at a modest pace. Retail sales picked up slightly. Auto dealers reported good sales for new and used vehicles.

RICHMOND (includes Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, D.C., and part of West Virginia):

Business activity was slightly improved. There were more upbeat reports from retail sales and tourism. Farmers reported good harvests.

ATLANTA (includes Georgia, Alabama, Florida and parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee):

The economy expanded at a modest pace. Most retailers noted sluggish growth in sales. Auto dealers reported robust sales. Tourism remained a bright spot.

CHICAGO (includes Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and parts of Illinois and Indiana):

The pace of activity moderated in October and early November. Business contacts remained cautiously optimistic. Consumer spending increased and manufacturing output increased while business spending held steady.

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

Economic activity slowed since the last survey. Manufacturing declined and retail sales were down slightly over year-ago levels. Housing continued to decline.

MINNEAPOLIS (includes Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin and Michigan):

The economy grew moderately with strong growth in the agriculture, energy and mining. There was modest to moderate growth in consumer spending, tourism and construction.

KANSAS CITY (includes Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and parts of Missouri and New Mexico):

Growth edged higher but still remained moderate. Consumer spending improved further and manufacturing rose modestly. High-tech and energy firms reported strong growth. Agricultural activity was mixed due to drought conditions.

DALLAS (includes Texas and parts of New Mexico and Louisiana):

The economy grew at a modest pace with growth in retail sales moderating. The energy industry continued to expand at a robust pace while agricultural conditions remained weak due to a severe drought.

SAN FRANCISCO (includes California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Hawaii and Alaska):

Growth continued at a moderate pace with modest gains in demand for business and consumer services. Price increases were limited and wage growth remained weak.