Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The Fed Releases Survey of Economic Conditions For New York Area.
I thought you would all be interested in reading The Fed's latest economic condition report for our region.
Highlights from the Federal Reserve's survey of economic conditions nationwide. The survey, released Wednesday and known as the Beige Book, is based on information collected from the Fed's 12 regional bank districts.
(This region covers New York and parts of Connecticut and New Jersey, which of course includes Hoboken and Jersey City)
The economy showed scattered signs of a pickup. Factory activity strengthened, with manufacturers optimistic about the near-term outlook. Retail sales picked up "noticeably" in September. Sales in New York City — which had been lagging other areas — improved "considerably" especially for a higher-end department store chain. Auto dealers saw sales fall with the end of the Cash for Clunkers rebate program. Tourism activity in New York City was sluggish. An ongoing "pronounced slump" in business travel was partly offset by leisure visitors. Broadway theater attendance picked up somewhat. Manhattan hotels reported steady occupancy rates.
Housing markets were sluggish across the region, although sales activity picked up in some areas. Commercial real estate activity was described as "steady to softer" with Manhattan's office vacancy rate continuing to climb. A major New York employment agency specializing in office jobs said activity "virtually ground to a halt" in the legal and publishing industries. Banks reported decreased demand for all types of loans, except home mortgages.