WASHINGTON (1/15/15)--To close out the year, all 12 districts monitored by the Federal Reserve in its Beige Book reported that economic activity expanded in the period between mid-November and late December.
The majority of districts said they experienced modest to moderate growth, while Kansas City reported only slight increases in growth during the period (Economy.com Jan. 14).
"However, most of their contacts, along with those of several other districts, expect somewhat faster growth over the coming months," the Fed said in the report. "The Dallas district indicated that growth slowed slightly during the reporting period and that several contacts expressed concern about the effect of lower oil prices on the (Dallas) district economy."
The Fed also reported that consumer spending climbed in most districts, and that retail sales posted modest year-over-year gains across all districts.
Auto sales posted moderate to strong growth, but single-family residential real estate sales and construction were largely flat across all districts.
Further, demand for business and consumer credit increased, credit quality strengthened, payrolls expanded moderately and significant wage pressures were mostly limited to workers with specialized technical skills.
Prices also increased across all districts, though only slightly.
"The Federal Reserve's January Beige Book depicts an economy that is beginning to make meaningful progress," said Christopher Velarides, Moody's analyst (Economy.com). "Economic activity has continued to increase modestly or moderately since the last reporting period, with substantial contributions being made industrially and geographically."