June 04, 2014

Fed: Economy showing signs of improvement

June 5, 2014 – The economy continues to show signs of improvement, according to the Federal Reserve's most recent Beige Book released Wednesday.

The Fed report states that "all twelve Federal Reserve Districts report that economic activity expanded during the current reporting period," which was based on data collected on or before May 23. The Beige Book also notes progress in consumer spending, which was broad-based and driven by new vehicle purchases.

Residential real estate received mixed reports, as inventory constraints held back sales in some districts. However, the report noted that "home prices continued to increase across most of the country" and that "both non-residential construction activity and commercial real estate markets were generally steady to stronger since the last report," which was released April 16.

"This release supports many of the trends we've been seeing in the economy at large and also among credit unions – strong auto lending, sluggishness in the real estate market and improving credit quality," said NAFCU Senior Economist Curt Long after analyzing the findings.

The Fed report states that credit quality strengthened even as credit standards remained unchanged.