Beige Book's Reasonably Upbeat Outlook Could Reduce Stimulus Efforts

The Federal Reserve’s periodic Beige Book economic roundup released this week found an economy expanding at a “modest to moderate” pace. None of the 12 districts reported major threats to growth, on the whole.

Consumer spending rose, as expected, in part because of the annual “back-to-school” shopping period that falls into the latest period (mid-July to late-August). Manufacturing, agriculture and real estate all showed renewed strength as well, according to Fed reporting.

“The latest assessment of the U.S. economy via the Fed’s Beige roundup suggested that there is room for some mild optimism about the rest of the year,” said NACM Economist Chris Kuehl, PhD. “That could very well provide the Fed with the ammunition it needs to reduce the size and the scope of the QE III effort.”

Kuehl found developments in the New York District particularly of interest. He characterized it as a barometer for the feeling of the typical U.S. consumer because of the sheer volume of visitors and transplants that travel or move to the area regularly. He summed up the overarching feeling in the district with the word “stability,” something long-sought before the growth rebound improved to more recent levels this year. In essence, there’s “good news” in Greater New York and much of the U.S. at present.

-Brian Shappell, CBA, CICP, NACM staff writer

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