Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Beige Book: Tenth district economy showed modest improvement

The Federal Reserve system released its Beige Book on economic conditions today. Nationwide, "economic activity generally expanded at a modest to moderate pace," according to the report. 

In the tenth district, which includes Colorado, the "economy showed modest improvement in January and early February."

Moreover, the report noted that 
Residential real estate showed brisk improvement since the last survey period, but commercial real estate activity was flat. Strong residential real estate sales continued to push prices higher and to decrease the stock of residential inventory. Real estate contacts noted that mid- to low- priced homes continued to be the strongest sellers, and that the high-end market remained slow. Expectations for future housing activity were high due to traditional increases during the spring and summer months. Contacts also cited continued low borrowing rates and improved overall confidence in the economy as reasons for optimism. Sales at construction supply firms were flat, but respondents indicated that future activity is expected to be robust.  
Bankers generally reported steady or modest loan demand, improving loan quality, and little change in total deposits in the recent survey period. Most bankers described their overall loan demand as the same as in the last survey, with a few bankers reporting moderately stronger demand.