Published eight times a year, the report commonly known as the Beige Book (Off-site) summarizes information gathered by each Federal Reserve Bank on current economic conditions within the districts.
What is the purpose of the Beige Book?
The Beige Book serves a number of purposes. Mainly, it is intended to document and characterize change in economic conditions in each of the Federal Reserve Districts based on a variety of mostly qualitative data and anecdotal information. Outreach to gather information for the Beige Book is also one of the many ways that the Fed engages with local communities, businesses and other organizations in order to serve its broader mission. Lastly, the Beige Book can complement other forms of regional data and information gathering.
How is the information gathered and used?
Each Federal Reserve Bank gathers information for the Beige Book through reports from bank and branch directors, as well as through interviews and questionnaires completed by local businesses, economists, community organizations, market experts and other sources. The responsibility to prepare the overall summary of the 12 district reports shifts between Federal Reserve Banks on a rotating basis.
Federal Reserve economists use the information in the Beige Book to assess overall economic conditions throughout the United States. The report covers such topics as:
- Summary of economic activity
- Employment and wages
- Consumer and business spending
- Retail, travel and tourism
- Manufacturing and distribution
- Real estate and construction
- Agriculture and natural resources