Fed's Beige Book "This report was prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City based on information collected on or before June 30, 2017."
Economic activity expanded across all twelve Federal Reserve Districts in June, with the pace of growth ranging from slight to moderate. In addition, the majority of Districts expected modest to moderate gains in the months ahead. Consumer spending appears to be rising across a majority of Districts, led by increases in nonauto retail sales and tourism. However, many Districts noted some softening in consumer spending, particularly in auto sales which declined in half of the Districts. Manufacturing and nonfinancial services activity continued to grow, with most Districts reporting modest to moderate gains since the last report. Loan demand was steady to increasing in most Districts. Residential and nonresidential construction activity was flat to expanding in most Districts. Most Districts cited low home inventory levels in certain market segments which were constraining home sales in many areas.And a few excerpts on real estate:
Employment across most of the nation maintained a modest to moderate pace of expansion, although the Atlanta and St. Louis Districts noted flat employment levels. Labor markets tightened further for both low- and high-skilled positions, particularly in the construction and IT sectors. Contacts across a broad range of industries reported a shortage of qualified workers which had limited hiring. Wages continued to grow at a modest to moderate pace in most Districts, and many firms attributed these wage gains to tighter labor market conditions. Wage pressures generally trended with employment conditions, and rising wage pressures were noted among both low- and high-skilled positions. A few Districts also reported rising costs of benefits and variable pay.
New York: Housing markets across the District have strengthened somewhat. Sales volume has picked up throughout the New York City area--particularly for moderately-priced, single-family homes in outlying areas. In contrast, sales activity has slowed a bit in parts of upstate New York, restrained by a lack of homes on the market.
A real estate contact in upstate New York State reported continued escalation in home prices, with homes in more sought-after areas often selling for above the list price. ...