The Federal Beige Book reports: "Economic activity in the Fifth District improved modestly since our last assessment. Retail sales were sluggish, held back in part by weak big-ticket sales. Residential real estate agents noted encouraging signs of improvement in housing sales, while commercial Realtors described leasing and construction activity as mostly flat to moderately up. One real estate developer in Charleston, South Carolina said that rents had increased to the point where "new construction is starting to make sense." A developer in the Richmond area cited a rise in demand for warehousing space, related to healthcare facilities and an increase in on-line shopping activity."
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Commonly known as The Beige Book, this report is published eight times per year. Each Federal Reserve Bank gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its District through reports from Bank and Branch directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts and other sources. The Beige Book summarizes this information by District and sector.
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