Fed Beige Book Notes Slight Improvement in Most Districts
The Fed’s Beige Book attributed much of the slight overall improvements to gains in residential real estate and manufacturing, both of which have continued to rebound. On the downside, spending and the service sector posted mixed performance while retailers, including those in the Philadelphia and Atlanta region, remain pessimistic on a serious recovery in sales. Meanwhile, districts also reported weak loan demand, as consumers may indeed be changing their spending habits in the wake of the financial crisis.
Reacting to the release, US markets have seen little change from earlier gains, while crude has come off nearly a dollar from its high above $82 per barrel. Elsewhere, weakness in the greenback continues to be the trend of the day as the dollar index fall to 75, its lowest since August 2008.
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