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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Beige Book: Economy Still Weak

According to the Fed's Beige Book -- its eight-times-per-year report of anecdotal evidence on the state of the economy in the Fed's 12 districts: "Overall economic activity continued to weaken across almost all of the Federal Reserve districts since the previous reporting period. Most districts noted reduced or low activity across a wide range of industries, although a few districts noted some exceptions in some sectors."

It's important to note that the Fed's 12 districts are identified by the city where the Fed bank is located. But each district covers several states, so the economic activity reported comes from a much bigger sample than solely the Fed's city.

Some highlights (or lowlights) from the report:

-- Holiday spending was down across almost all districts.

-- Manufacturing was down in all districts, save in the San Francisco district (aerospace was up) and the Minneapolis district (medical devices).

-- Only the Richmond, Va., district reported steady home prices. Elsewhere, they were down.

-- Many districts reported that credit remained weak or had even tightened. Despite this, several districts reported upticks in home refinancing.

-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 14, 2009; 2:43 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Beige Book, Federal Reserve, economy  
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