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Private construction shows selected strength, Beige Book, AGC find; jobs slip again

Post Time:Jun 14,2010Classify:Industry NewsView:150

“Economic activity continued to improve since the last report across all 12 Federal Reserve Districts, although many Districts described the pace of growth as ‘modest,’” the Fed reported Wednesday [June 9]in the latest Beige Book, a summary of informal soundings of business conditions conducted from mid-April to May 28. The districts are referred to by their headquarters cities. “Higher residential construction increased demand for construction equipment and materials in the Philadelphia, Richmond, Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts. Residential real estate activity improved since the last report. Most Districts noted an increase in home sales and construction prior to the April 30th deadline for the homebuyer tax credit, with contacts in many of these Districts also indicating a corresponding slowing in activity in May. Tight credit, the elevated inventory of homes available for sale, and the “shadow inventory” of foreclosed properties on banks’ balance sheets held back residential development in the New York, Cleveland, Atlanta, and Chicago Districts. Commercial real estate activity generally remained weak. Office, industrial, and retail vacancy rates continued to drift upward in many Districts putting downward pressure on rents. However, lower rents were said to have led to an increase in leasing activity in New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco," according to a June 11 Data DIGest report.

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