by Mike ‘Mish’ Shedlock
The Fed’s “beige Book” is a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions from each of the 12 Federal Reserve districts two weeks before a Fed interest rate policy meeting. Wednesday’s Beige Book shows defined weakening in some Fed regions.
Bloomberg Econoday Comments on the Beige Book.
Weakness in exports and deepening contraction in the energy sector make for a flat description of economic growth in today’s Beige Book, prepared for the mid-month FOMC meeting. Most of the Fed’s 12 districts are reporting moderate to modest growth with Kansas City, however, which is getting hit by the energy sector, in modest decline. But other descriptions are solid with the labor market continuing to improve and consumer spending continuing to increase. Wage growth is described as varied, between flat to strong with the latter a definite though isolated indication of strength. Otherwise, consumer prices are described as steady. Positives are residential and commercial real estate which are both described as growing. Today’s report won’t turn up the heat for a March rate hike but neither does it point to a downgrade for the economy.