Beige Book Notes Economic Activity Increased at 'Modest to Moderate' Pace

February 29, 2012 07:20 AM

The Federal Reserve's Beige Book says reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts suggest that overall economic activity continued to increase at a modest to moderate pace in January and early February. Activity expanded at a moderate pace in the Cleveland, Chicago, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts. St. Louis noted a modest pace of growth and Minneapolis characterized the pace of growth as firm. Economic activity rose at a somewhat faster pace in the Philadelphia and Atlanta Districts, while the New York District noted a somewhat slower pace of expansion. The Boston and Richmond Districts, in turn, noted that economic activity expanded or improved in most sectors.

In its assessment of agriculture, the report states: "Drought conditions and warm temperatures affected agricultural conditions in some Districts. However, recent rainfalls in parts of the Richmond, Atlanta, Kansas City, and Dallas Districts helped ease the dry conditions. Crop yields for St. Louis were mixed, with only winter wheat, rice, and tobacco showing positive gains for 2011. Tobacco and cotton yields in Richmond were lower than historical averages. San Francisco reported growth in orders and final sales for agriculture products. Farm values and incomes were stronger in Minneapolis and Kansas City, while Richmond saw a slight drop in farmland values."

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