David Kirkpatrick

January 15, 2009

Fed’s latest Beige Book is bleak

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:36 pm

Not too surprising to tell the truth.

From the link:

Investors looking for some good news in the Federal Reserve’s latest report on economic activity around the nation would be well advised not to bother.

Upbeat information was in short supply in the report, essentially a summary of anecdotes from the central bank’s business contacts, released Tuesday.

The report, known informally as the Beige Book, found that the U.S. economy continued on its downswing in early December through early January.

It is hard to gauge the speed of the economy’s descent from the report, but the pace did not seem to be slackening.

Areas that had been strong suits for the economy — the service sector, the energy sector and, until lately, commercial real estate — offered no respite from the general gloom.

Conditions in the labor market were especially poor, with layoffs, hiring freezes, pay freezes and salary reductions commonplace.

Both commercial and residential real estate are suffering from tighter credit standards and a drop in lending activity.

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