While overall the beige book was an absolute snoozer, almost as boring as Yellen's earlier appearance at the economic club of New York, and its core message were quite bullish, namely that:
- EIGHT OF 12 FED DISTRICTS SAY GROWTH `MODEST OR MODERATE'
- FED SAYS ECONOMIC GROWTH `INCREASED IN MOST REGIONS' OF U.S.
- FED SAYS LABOR MARKET CONDITIONS `MIXED BUT GENERALLY POSITIVE'
... confirming that the Beige Book contributors did not get the "ignore the dots" memo, the only "exciting" thing that everyone was looking for: what the Fed thought about the weather. Because with 103 instances of the word "weather" in the report (granted less than the 119 in February), it sure thought a lot.
- Consumer spending increased in most Districts, as weather conditions improved and foot traffic returned.
- Manufacturing improved in most Districts. Several Districts reported that the impact of winter weather was less severe than earlier this year.
- Demand for food production declined in the Boston, Richmond, and Dallas Districts; however the drop was primarily weather related.
- New York and Dallas reported especially strong increases. New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Richmond cited the inclement weather as a factor reducing home sales and therefore mortgage borrowing.
- Agricultural reports were mixed, as weather disruptions delayed crop plantings and shipments of commodities.
- Retail sales in New York rebounded strongly from weather-depressed levels, while cold weather continued to hold down consumer spending in Cleveland.
- Sales of cars and light trucks picked up in recent weeks as the weather improved and consumer traffic returned to dealerships.
- Some contacts suggested that cold weather had decreased travel.
- The Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, and Dallas Districts noted that lingering winter weather hampered business activity, but the impact was less severe than earlier this year.
- The Chicago District indicated that steel production recovered from a weather-related slowdown and capacity utilization returned to its expected levels.
The embarrassment continues in the full book (link). Luckily, there was only one case of "pig virus"
Full April beige book word cloud: