Fed report: Economic recovery on track at end of 2010
The U.S. economy "continued to expand moderately" in November and December, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday in a new report that shows an economic recovery that, while not particularly rapid, is on track.
The beige book, published eight times a year, is a summary of anecdotal reports on current economic conditions from banks, businesses, economists, market experts and other sources from each of the 12 Fed districts around the country. The document is prepared in advance of each Fed policy meeting to help officials decide the course of monetary policy. The next Fed policy meeting is Jan. 25-26.
Wednesday's report reflects an economic recovery that was solidifying as 2010 ended. It noted strength in manufacturing, retail and service industries other than finance. Yet the financial services industry and real estate remained weak.
Among the observations:
- Manufacturing continued to recover across all Fed districts. Contacts in the area served by the Chicago Fed said that pent-up demand for both light and heavy motor vehicles, attributed to an aging fleet, was a key driver in that sector.
- No Fed district noted fears of a double-dip recession, as they did in the summer beige book reports.
- Retail spending improved across the country, as most retailers reported sales growth consistent with or higher than expected for the 2010 holiday season.
- Information technology services showed rising sales in the Kansas City and San Francisco districts. The Boston District reported significant growth in the advertising and consulting businesses. In the Dallas District, legal firms noted an uptick in demand for services, while accounting firms reported seasonal slowness.
- Residential real estate and new home construction remained slow across all districts.
| January 12, 2011; 2:23 PM ET
Categories: Federal Reserve, U.S. Economy
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