Every six weeks, the Federal Reserve issues a report on the economy of 12 districts across the US including Atlanta. Last week, a new report was released. The Fed’s latest Beige Book, named for the color of the report’s cover, reports some good news overall and specifically in Atlanta.
Ten of 12 districts posted modest economic growth from August to early September, and real estate continues to be cited as a bright spot in the recovery, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book.
Although a still sluggish job market, uncertainty about possible tax increases, and the upcoming presidential election are restraining hiring across the country, the Fed reports Atlanta did see some growth in economic activity, albeit it slow.
A bright spot, according to the report is the nation’s housing market, which “showed widespread improvement.” All 12 districts monitored posted stronger existing home sales, and in some areas sales were “substantially” higher. The report notes that sales prices remained steady or increased in Boston, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Dallas, and San Francisco — areas where inventories remained constrained.
In Atlanta, the Beige Book noted that the outlook for construction activity, multifamily rent growth, and new home sales remained positive. Despite declining inventories, existing home sales were up slightly compared with year-earlier levels. Buyer traffic also remained ahead of year-ago levels. According to the report, most contacts in construction and real estate anticipate modest gains in future weeks, and “The short-term outlook for home sales remained positive overall.”
You can check out the Beige Book’s latest report on Atlanta by visiting www.federalreserve.gov.