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Feds release latest Beige Book reports

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book survey, released Wednesday, suggests that the economies of most states have expanded “modestly” in the past six weeks.

The information in the Beige Book is anecdotal rather than statistical, and is collected from a sample of business executives in various key industries in each district. For example, the 12th district is based in San Francisco and includes Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Hawaii and Alaska. Each district released its own Beige Book Wednesday.

While Pressure on wages and prices was limited, retail sales and services reported mixed results but ultimately grew on balance. Activity in the manufacturing sector grew, especially in the areas of information technology and demand for energy resources.

Housing markets continued to slide, as consumers and businesses alike found themselves struggling with foreclosures and falling values. Commercial real estate markets remained weak. “Demand for commercial real estate remained at very low levels, as reflected in elevated vacancy rates and subdued leasing activity for office and industrial space in many parts of the district,” according to the Fed.

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