Fed’s Beige Book sees ‘modest’ growth in Colorado region

Denver Business Journal – by Mark Harden

The economy in Colorado and six neighboring states saw “modest” growth in late July and August, the U.S. Federal Reserve reports in its latest “Beige Book” survey of the region’s business executives.

The Fed’s 10th District, which includes Colorado and some or all of six neighboring states, was one of five Fed districts nationwide, most of them in the West, that saw modest growth during the six-week period covered by the latest report.

Growth was slower in eastern states, the Fed reported.

The Fed’s 10th District is based in Kansas City. Each district released its own Beige Book Wednesday.

The Beige Book is based on interviews with a sample of business executives representing key industries in each district. The reports are anecdotal and do not contain statistics, but they are widely followed and help the Fed to set national economic policy.

The latest report is based on information collected through Aug. 30.

During late July and August, consumer spending in the 10th District “increased slightly from the previous period, and high-tech and transportation firms reported moderate growth,” the local Beige Book said.

Energy activity “continued to expand solidly, and agricultural conditions improved with higher crop prices. Manufacturing production was flat, and factory orders declined slightly.”

The Beige Book said the downturn in commercial real estate across the 10th District “eased somewhat, while residential real estate markets weakened further.”

It said that bankers “reported steady loan demand and an unchanged outlook for loan quality.”

The region’s business executives interviewed for the Beige Book “were moderately optimistic about future sales, but few planned to change employment or capital spending levels in the months ahead. Retail prices were largely unchanged from the previous survey, and wage pressures in most industries remained limited due to soft labor markets.”

The Fed’s 10th District includes Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wyoming as well as western Missouri and northern New Mexico.

Formally known as the “Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District,” the Beige Book is published eight times a year. The nickname refers to the color of its cover.

Click here for the full text of the latest 10th District Beige Book.

And click here for the national summary, with links to other regional reports.


Read more: Fed’s Beige Book sees ‘modest’ growth in Colorado region – Denver Business Journal

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