Fed Beige Book - "Further Signs of Strengthening"

The Fed published the Beige Book yesterday, which discussed signs of improvement nationally. Here are some highlights from the main summary regarding Cleveland/Fourth District:

- Consumer Spending - Cleveland reported recent sales strengthened and noted that retailers expect sales to improve during the upcoming months

- Manufacturing - Cleveland reported positive results in metals and fabrication, and increased auto or auto component production

- Banking - Most banks in Cleveland reported weak consumer loan demand, although a few contacts saw a slight increase due to seasonal factors. Not surprisingly, Cleveland saw flat business loan volume and tighter lending standards for commercial mortgages.

- Commercial real estate - Activity was slow across the nation, but Cleveland saw some development in the energy and industrial segments

- Employment - Cleveland reported strong demand for temporary workers. A pickup in employment was noted in the manufacturing sector, with little change in staffing for retail, energy, transportation and banking.