The effects of severe winter weather are evident throughout the economy, says the Fed Beige Book, but nevertheless, the expansion continues. Eight districts reported improved levels of activity, mostly characterized as modest to moderate. New York and Philadelphia experienced slight declines in activity thanks to the weather. Growth slowed in Chicago and Kansas City reported stable conditions.
Retail sales weakened in most districts, again thanks to the weather, which somehow skipped Cleveland as it reported strong gains. Residential real estate continued to modestly improve in several areas, but Philadelphia, Cleveland, Minneapolis, and KC noted a decrease in sales.