Today, the Federal Reserve released its latest Beige Book. Published eight times a year, this report contains information on current economic conditions that it acquired through reports from Bank and Branch directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources. It should be noted that the Beige Book is more a collection of the business community's opinions rather than the view of Federal Reserve officials. Thus, it doesn't include any hints about the Federal Reserve's purported decision to consider more action to spur the economic recovery. The report is cautiously optimistic and suggests that overall economic activity expanded at a moderate pace from late April to late May (so it doesn't include the latest data such as the recently released jobs figures). Two very interesting things that caught my eye:
- Small and medium-sized banks in the New York District reported the most broad-based increase in loan demand since the mid-1990s.
- Demand in manufacturing appeared to be strongest in steel and auto manufacturing