Fed's Beige Book Disappoints... Everyone But Doomsayers
Your life just isn't complete without the Beige Book to tell you what you should already know. Though it would be excessive to call this a U-turn and start claiming the doomsayers have been right all along, it's starting to look like they may want to rethink that whole "all clear" thing.
(and forgive me for not getting to this as promptly as I should have; someone was playing reporter in Palo Alto for Going Concern)
"Economic conditions continued to expand" in late January and February, according to the beige book, which is released eight times a year. But "severe snowstorms in early February held back activity in several" Fed districts.
The details of the report suggest that even apart from the snow, the expansion has included less-than-gangbuster growth. Nine of the 12 Fed districts reported that conditions were improving, "but in most cases the increases were modest," and conditions were described as "mixed" by three of the Fed's regional banks.
Indeed, the weakest results were reported by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, which encompasses an area stretching from South Carolina to Maryland, where "economic activity slackened or remained soft in most sectors, due importantly to especially severe February weather in that region."
Snow wasn't Richmond's excuse when it made a poor showing in the last Beige Book. Just sayin.
Long hard slog. I'm not seeing a W, maybe more like an L with a rotten bit hanging off of the end of it.