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Fed’s Beige Book: "Residential real estate conditions weakened noticeably as home sales fell in all twelve Districts"

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by Calculated Risk on 9/07/2022 02:06:00 PM

Fed’s Beige Book “This report was prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco based on information collected on or before August 29, 2022.”

Economic activity was unchanged, on balance, since early July, with five Districts reporting slight to modest growth in activity and five others reporting slight to modest softening. Most Districts reported steady consumer spending as households continued to trade down and to shift spending away from discretionary goods and toward food and other essential items. Auto sales remained muted across most Districts, reflecting limited inventories and elevated prices. Hospitality and tourism contacts highlighted overall solid leisure travel activity with some reporting an uptick in business and group travel. Manufacturing activity grew in several Districts, although there were some reports of declining output as supply chain disruptions and labor shortages continued to hamper production. Despite some reports of strong leasing activity, residential real estate conditions weakened noticeably as home sales fell in all twelve Districts and residential construction remained constrained by input shortages. Commercial real estate activity softened, particularly demand for office space. Loan demand was mixed; while financial institutions reported generally strong demand for credit cards and commercial and industrial loans, residential loan demand was weak amid elevated mortgage interest rates. Nonfinancial services firms experienced stable to slightly higher demand. Demand for transportation services was mixed and reports on agriculture conditions across reporting Districts varied. While demand for energy products was robust, production remained constrained by supply chain bottlenecks for critical components. The outlook for future economic growth remained generally weak, with contacts noting expectations for further softening of demand over the next six to twelve months.
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