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Federal Reserve Board Beige Book – March 01, 2017

“National SummaryThis report was prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York based on information collected on or before February 17, 2017. This document summarizes comments received from contacts outside the Federal Reserve System and is not a commentary on the views of Federal Reserve officials. Overall Economic Activity – Reports from all twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicated that the economy expanded at a modest to moderate pace from early January through mid-February. Consumer spending expanded modestly since the last report. Retail sales increased at a subdued pace across most of the nation, with a number of Districts noting an ongoing shift from in-store to internet purchasing. Auto sales varied widely, but were said to be up in most Districts. Tourism activity was mixed but mostly stronger. Manufacturing activity accelerated somewhat, with most Districts characterizing the pace of growth as moderate. The energy sector showed modest growth in early 2017, and transportation activity was steady to somewhat higher across the nation. Home construction and sales continued to expand modestly in most Districts, while residential rental markets were mixed. Home prices were steady to up modestly in most Districts, and a number of Districts noted low inventories of existing homes. Commercial real estate construction grew modestly, and sales and leasing activity grew moderately. Lending activity was steady to somewhat higher. Businesses were generally optimistic about the near-term outlook but to a somewhat lesser degree than in the prior report…”

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