Skip to content

The Beige Book

October 21, 2010

There’s the Yanks and Giants to get excited about, and there’s a bizarre campaign season that has everyone talking politics.  And what are we doing?  Well, we’re reading the Beige Book.

This is an economic report that is put out eight times a year by the Federal Reserve. Each of the 12 Federal Reserve banks gathers information on current economic conditions, and the eponymous Beige Book summarizes the information.

The latest report issued yesterday indicates that national economic activity is rising at a modest pace. New York appears to be faring as least as well as the rest of the nation, if not slightly better.

Among the bright spots in New York:

Auto dealers upstate report that sales held up fairly well in August and September, and that credit conditions continued to improve.

Residential real estate sales markets were generally stable across the region, while New York City’s rental market showed continued modest improvement.

Tourism activity in New York City cooled slightly, but it is still strong and well ahead of the pace last year.

The manufacturing-sector reports some pickup in business during September and early October, after a pause in August.

Manufacturers continue to add jobs and firms in a wide variety of industries plan to increase employment in the months ahead.

The biggest source of concern, however, is as follows: The financial industry continues to shed jobs and that hiring for office and administrative jobs generally remains sluggish.

The key question, of course, is how all of this cuts in the election cycle? Much has been made of the surly mood of the electorate. Most analysts believe the anger is being driven at least in part by anxiety over economic conditions. But if this report is to be believed, and the Beige Book is regarded by economists as authoritative, economic conditions may not be quite as bad as people think they are.

But as the saying goes: perception is reality; and if there was a Beige Book on regional political sentiments, we’d bet it would be decidedly negative.

For the full summary of New York conditions, go to:


No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: