January 2019 Beige Book: Reading Between The Lines - Rate Of Economic Expansion About The Same

The consolidated economic report from the 12 Federal Reserve Districts (Beige Book) stated: "Economic activity increased in most of the U.S., with eight of twelve Federal Reserve Districts reporting modest to moderate growth". The previous report stated, "Most of the twelve Federal Reserve Districts reported that their economies expanded at a modest or moderate pace from mid-October through late November".

Analyst Opinion of this month's Beige Book

Seems like the rate of growth was about the same as last month. Even so, after reading the narrative, one gets the feeling of a slightly slowing economy. Note the following statement from the Federal Reserve:

This document summarizes comments received from contacts outside the Federal Reserve System and is not a commentary on the views of Federal Reserve officials.

Please see the end of this post for words the Federal Reserve uses when the economy is entering a recession. The Beige Book completely missed the 2001 recession and was late in seeing the Great Recession.

This report was prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond based on information collected on or before 07 January 2019.

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Alexander Straub 2 months ago Member's comment

Steven, thank you for this well written piece. I'm curious about your thoughts on the current US government #shutdown's effects on the economy. This is in terms of a protracted shutdown. The airports, for example, have been less and less functional the longer the shutdown persists.

Steven Hansen 2 months ago Author's comment

it depends how long the shutdown lasts - we are now in uncharted territory. Up to now, the effect is minimal

Leslie Miriam 2 months ago Member's comment

Really? Can you elaborate? I'm due to fly out this month!