Beige Book: Economy Continued to Expand at 'Moderate' Pace

June 6, 2012 08:23 AM

The Federal Reserve's Beige Book says reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts suggest overall economic activity expanded at a moderate pace during the reporting period from early April to late May. Activity in the New York, Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Dallas and San Francisco Districts was characterized as growing at a moderate pace, while the Richmond, St. Louis, and Minneapolis Districts noted modest growth. Boston reported steady growth, and the Philadelphia District indicated that the pace of expansion had slowed slightly since the previous Beige Book.

In its assessment of agriculture, the report states: "Agricultural conditions generally improved since the previous report. Rainfall provided much needed moisture in several parts of the Richmond, Minneapolis, and Dallas Districts. Spring planting and crop emergence was well ahead of the normal pace in most reporting Districts, and corn producers in the Chicago District were hopeful that this promising start may result in a record harvest. Producers in the St. Louis, Kansas City, and Dallas Districts noted that the winter wheat crop was in fair-to-good condition. Farm incomes rose further in the Minneapolis and Kansas City Districts, and the San Francisco District reported further sales growth for most crop and livestock products. Producers in the Chicago and San Francisco Districts expressed concern that persistent dry conditions may undermine crop production. Although prices of most agricultural commodities declined, hog and cattle prices rose since the previous report."

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