The economic report known as the Beige Book came out today. The report comes out eight times per year and includes data from each of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks and businesses in their corresponding regions.
Only one region, St. Louis, reported a decline in economic activity. For the 11 other districts it increased at a slow to moderate pace throughout October and early November, the report says.
The report covers business activities in several different sectors across regions including retail and tourism, banking and finance, real estate and construction, nonfinancial services, agriculture and natural resources, and a few others.
Some sectors reported modest improvements over the last report released October 19, while others remained flat. For instance, retail sales picked up in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Minneapolis and San Francisco while they weakened elsewhere in Atlanta and St. Louis.
Business service activity was, on the whole, flat over the time period, the Beige Book reports, but manufacturing activity grew at a steady pace in most places.
Lending activity at banks ticked up a bit as well with some regions, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Kansas City, reporting increased loan demand while others report an increase in home refinancing.
Real estate and construction were mostly flat with some regions reporting increased activity. The other economic bugaboo, employment, was generally subdued according to the report.
The Federal Reserve rate-setting committee, the Federal Open Market Committee, will use the data in the Beige Book when they meet in mid-December.
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