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Posted at 2:23 PM ET, 01/12/2011

Fed report: Economic recovery on track at end of 2010

By Neil Irwin

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.

By Neil Irwin  | January 12, 2011; 2:23 PM ET
Categories:  Federal Reserve, U.S. Economy  
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Next: Economic agenda: Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011


I don't know where the economy is improving, for sure it is worsening here and in the five other states where I have family members. Like the false and deliberate misleading statements about unemployment and inflation the improving economic figures being crowed about by Washington, Wall Street and the news media will prove to be without substance or reality... or based on seasonal, off-shore and temporary one time factors.
I there anyone left that still believes or has any faith in economic news releases such as this?

Posted by: 123Njord | January 12, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

PS...and by the way with the forecasted $5.00 a gal. gasoline prices coming this summer and the rising costs for other energy, food, clothing, pharmaceuticals, health care,insurance and other necessities, most not counted in inflation figures...and with huge the lay-offs in state and local government...take a wild guess where the economy is going...rock bottom.

Posted by: 123Njord | January 12, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

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