Don't Fear the Beige Book

No news is good news, as a delicate recovery spreads through our struggling economy. With that in mind, we have some excellent news from the latest "Beige Book" survey from the Federal Reserve Bank.

No shockers, thank God. If you have a home on the market, there's little to scare potential purchasers that they don't already know. If you're looking to buy, there's nothing good enough to make the Fed raise interest rates when its policy-setting committee meets Dec. 15-16.

Instead, the economy "improved modestly" in late October and November.Two thirds of the nation - that's eight of the 12 Fed regions - say the economy has picked up since mid-October. But the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic lag behind. Fed officers in the Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond and Atlanta regions report that conditions are little changed or mixed.

Housing was a relative bright spot.

Home sales increased in all the districts but New York and Philadelphia, where sales were steady or mixed, according to the report. Prices firmed somewhat in the Dallas and San Francisco Districts and stabilized in Chicago and Kansas City, according to the Fed. Prices fell along the East Coast in the districts of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Richmond.
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