Fed sees moderate increase in regional economic activity

October 15, 2012

Banking & Finance

The Fed is reporting modest gains in regional as well as nationwide economic activity.

U.S. economic activity has expanded over the last four months, though spending is reported to be flat or up only slightly, the Federal Reserve said in its Beige Book report issued Oct. 10.

Manufacturing sectors activity was mixed but, on balance, somewhat improved since the last report on June 6, the Beige Book says.

Overall loan demand appeared steady to stronger n most of the dozen Federal Reserve districts, the book notes.

The report looks at economic activity in various sectors since the June Beige Book. The Beige Book compiles economic data and reports from the 12 Federal Reserve Banks.

Mississippi’s economic activity is reported by the two districts in which it is included – Atlanta for the southern part of the state and St. Louis for the remainder.

The Atlanta district described economic activity as expanding slowly in September. Most business contacts in the district expect little change n the near term, the Beige Book says.

Most retailers in the district cited slow sales growth while auto dealers continue to see strong results. Hospital sectors reports remained largely positive. Residential brokers and builders signaled that housing conditions continue to improve in many parts of the district.

Commercial development continued to improve, led by multi-family development.

On the employment from payrolls expanded on net. And forms noted some slowing in input prices, while wages remained relatively unchanged.

For the St. Louis district, businesses reported economic activity has expanded at a moderate pace since early June. Reports on planned activity from manufacturing and services contacts have been positive, the Beige Book says.

Residential real estate markets saw continued moderate improvement, while commercial and industrial real estate market conditions have continued to be mixed, the report notes.

Lending activity increased slightly from mid-June to early September. And agricultural; conditions have generally improved since the previous report.

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About Stephen McDill

Stephen McDill joined the Mississippi Business Journal in 2008 after working in radio and television. He is a graduate of Belhaven University and has won awards for his writing and photojournalism from the Associated Press and Mississippi Press Association.

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