What is the purpose of the Beige Book?
The Beige Book mainly is intended to document and summarize economic condition changes in each of the 12 Federal Reserve Districts, mostly based on qualitative data and anecdotal information. In addition, outreach to gather information for the Beige Book is one of the many ways the Federal Reserve Banks engage with local communities, businesses and other organizations to serve their broader mission. Because this information is collected from a wide range of contacts through both formal and informal methods, 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 interviews and questionnaires completed by key business contacts, economists, market experts and other sources. The Beige Book summarizes this information by district and sector. The responsibility to prepare a summary of the 12 district reports rotates between Federal Reserve Banks.
Federal Reserve economists use this information to assess overall economic conditions throughout the United States. The report covers such topics as:
- Summary of economic activity
- Labor markets
- Consumer and business spending
- Retail, travel and tourism
- Manufacturing and distribution
- Real estate and construction
- Agriculture and natural resources