While the latest Beige Book reports from the Federal Reserve Banks indicate that the economy remained weak or contracted further before April 6, five of the 12 Districts noted that the pace of decline was moderating. Several Districts reported signs that activity in some sectors was stabilizing.
The report is a compilation of conditions across all 12 Federal Reserve Districts in the U.S.
Here's an overview of the report:
Manufacturing activity weakened across a broad range of industries in most Districts, with only a few exceptions. Cleveland noted some leveling off, and the New York and Dallas Districts reported demand was beginning to bottom out following steep declines.
Residential real estate markets continued to be weak. Home prices and construction were still falling in most areas, but better-than-expected buyer traffic led to a scattered pickup in sales in a number of Districts. Nonresidential real estate conditions continued to deteriorate due to difficulty obtaining commercial real estate financing constraining construction and investment activity.
Agricultural conditions were generally favorable across Districts, although drought conditions persisted in the Dallas and San Francisco Districts. The Districts reporting on energy said reduced demand, high inventories, and lower prices led to steep cutbacks in oil and natural gas drilling and production activity. The Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Dallas Districts noted declines in employment in the oil and gas extraction industry.
Downward pressure on prices was reported across Districts. Wage and salary pressures eased as labor markets weakened in all Districts, and many contacts continued to report job cuts and wage and hiring freezes. Employment continued to decline across a range of industries, with only scattered reports of hiring.
Click here to read the full report.