In this edition of Fed Facts, we are featuring the Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District, commonly known as the Beige Book (Off-site). Published eight times a year, this report 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. Namely, 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 information. Outreach for information gathering in 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, economics, 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.
Information in the Beige Book is used by Federal Reserve economists to assess overall economic conditions throughout the United States. The report creates an opportunity to identify emerging trends in the national economy that may not yet be readily available.
Where is the latest report?
The latest Beige Book report (Off-site) was recently released on January 13, 2021. It details anecdotal information and data from each Federal Reserve Bank, most of which noted a modest increase in economic activity since the previous report. To view past reports dating back to 1996, you can check out the Beige Book Archive (Off-site).