Daily News: October 11, 2012

Beige Book: Economy Expands Modestly


According to the Fed’s recently released Beige Book, reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicated that economic activity generally expanded modestly since the last report.

Highlights include:

Manufacturing

Conditions in the manufacturing sector were mixed but, on balance, somewhat improved since the last report. The Boston, Richmond, Atlanta, St. Louis, Kansas City and San Francisco Districts reported some expansion in activity, whereas New York, Chicago and Minneapolis reported some weakening in activity. Significant gains in manufacturing related to the construction, energy, and transportation sectors were reported across several Districts.

Banking & Financial Services

Overall loan demand was steady to stronger in most Districts. New York, Cleveland, St. Louis, Kansas City and San Francisco reported some increase in demand for commercial and industrial loans, while demand for business loans was weak in Chicago and Dallas, and was characterized as mixed in Richmond.

Credit standards were little changed since the last report. Richmond and Chicago reported some easing for commercial and industrial loans. Still, loans remained difficult to obtain for many small businesses in the Cleveland, Richmond and Chicago Districts. Banking contacts in the Philadelphia, Cleveland, Dallas and San Francisco Districts reported stiff competition among lenders. Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Dallas noted general improvements in loan quality, and delinquency rates generally held steady or declined in the New York, Cleveland and Dallas Districts.

To read the full Beige Book report, click here.