In this edition of Fed Facts, we’ll dive into the Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District, better known as the Beige Book (Off-site).

What is the Beige Book?

This report, published eight times each year, consists of anecdotal information on current economic conditions from a variety of business and community contacts outside of the Federal Reserve System. It characterizes regional economic conditions and prospects based on a variety of mostly qualitative information. The Federal Reserve first started publishing the Beige Book in 1983. In 2017, the book’s form and structure were updated with the intent of making the report easier to navigate and read.

How is the information collected?

Each Federal Reserve Bank gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its District. This data is collected in a variety of ways, including through reports from Bank and Branch directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts and other sources. The responsibility to prepare an overall summary of the 12 district reports shifts between Federal Reserve Banks on a rotating basis.

How is the information used?

The anecdotal information collected in the Beige Book supplements the data and analysis used by Federal Reserve economists and staff to assess economic conditions in the Federal Reserve Districts. This information enables comparison of economic conditions in different parts of the country, which can be helpful for assessing the outlook for the national economy. It also serves as a regular summary of the Federal Reserve System's efforts to listen to businesses and community organizations.

Stay tuned to the Beige Book for qualitative economic condition updates throughout 2020. If you are interested in previous reports, archives (Off-site) are available as well.