"Go Slow," Says the Beige Book

The latest Beige Book report from the Federal Reserve exactly describes the weak, jobless recovery economists warned us about.

The name of the twice-a-quarter report perfectly reflects its current contents. Beige: a bland color, a little darker than vanilla ice cream. Unlike red, which says "stop," or green, which says "go," beige says "go slow."

"While economic activity remains at a low level, conditions have improved modestly," reads the the new year's first Beige Book report, released on January 13. The report skips much of the statistics found in other Fed reports, instead serving up anecdotal evidence from the 12 Fed districts. More than other reports, it tends capture the mood of the economy.