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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

June 5, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Fed’s Beige Book shows slight spring bounce in the West

The new Beige Book from the Federal Reserve on economic conditions shows a continuation of the slow recovery. “Overall economic activity increased at a modest to moderate pace since the previous report across all Federal Reserve Districts except the Dallas District, which reported strong economic growth.” The Dallas Fed’s better showing is not surprising given the energy boom in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Real estate and construction showed continued moderate gains. Manufacturing expanded more unevenly.

For the San Francisco Fed’s district, which includes Washington and Oregon, the Beige Book noted a modest expansion from early April through late May:

Price inflation was subdued for most final goods and services, and upward wage pressures were limited overall. Retail sales were a bit soft, while demand for business and consumer services was mixed. District manufacturing activity rose on net. Production and sales of agricultural items increased modestly. Residential real estate activity expanded robustly, and commercial real estate activity trended up, although somewhat unevenly across geographic areas. Contacts from financial institutions reported slight increases in overall loan demand.

Even so, retail sales in the district were soft and “compared with previous months, contacts dialed back their expectations for robust growth of various technology services such as cloud computing and data processing this year.” One area rated as robust in the Far West was residential real estate. “Home sales climbed in many regions, and tight inventories coupled with healthy demand supported continued house price appreciation. Reports indicated that the number of foreclosed properties available for sale has continued to decline significantly.”

And Don’t Miss: A nation in decline? Japan tests 310-mile-per-hour bullet train | The Telegraph

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Channeling Steve Jobs

Is there a ghost of a chance

To take on Samsung?

 

Comments | More in Federal Reserve, Pacific Northwest economy

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