Reading the above title, I’ll bet you thought that the Southeast is doing better than the rest of the country. That has been the case for quite a while, but not this time. When one reads the Atlanta District Summary it goes something like this:
Home sales slowed – outlook pessimistic;
Commercial real estate weak;
Manufacturing rate slowed;
Businesses expand temporary hires; and
Tourism reports generally positive – business travel up.
The national summary sounds something like this:
Economic activity increased or held steady;
Manufacturing activity moved up in some districts – automotive suppliers increased;
Retail sales generally positive;
Commercial real estate and homes sales continue to struggle;
Energy sector increased; and
Labor markets improved.
One sure thing to take away from reading the Beige Book is that economic activity is not uniform across the country. Some areas, especially those with diversified economies, seem to be improving. Areas that have most of their economic eggs in one basket are seeing a crack here and there. At any rate, the Beige Book offers interesting and instructive reading.