The Fed just released its latest “beige book” survey, and it doesn’t have very much in the way of “green shoots.” The survey shows that economic conditions deteriorated in many regions of the country. labour markets are weak and commercial real estate is getting worse. Consumer lending is still very tight, despite lots of talk and programs meant to revive the credit markets. Demand for commercial and industrial loans is still falling.
Five of the 12 Fed districts see the recession slowing down a bit, and several noted that their expectations are improving. But don’t get your second derivative party hats on yet. None are expecting a substantial increase in economic activity in 2009.
Good news? Well, there have been more residential home sales in some areas. And there’s no sign of price inflation.