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. The Fed reports manufacturing continued to expand at a steady pace across the nation, with many districts reporting increases in new orders, shipments, or production and several districts indicating gains in capital spending, especially in auto-related industries. Activity in nonfinancial services industries remained stable or increased. Reports of consumer spending were generally positive, except for sales of seasonal items. Residential real estate market conditions improved somewhat in most districts, with several reports of increased home sales and some reports of increased construction. Residential real estate activity increased modestly in most Districts. Boston, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Kansas City, and Dallas reported growth in home sales, while New York noted steady to slightly softer home sales. Philadelphia reported strong residential real estate activity. In contrast, home sales declined in St. Louis and San Francisco noted that home demand persisted at low levels. Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas, and San Francisco reported increased multifamily construction activity. Banking conditions generally improved across the districts. Of the districts reporting on hiring, most indicated a slight increase. Prices of final goods and services were relatively stable in most districts.
(Image Credit: Eric Miller)