U.S. economic activity continued to rise modestly in September and early October, the Fed’s latest beige book indicated.
“Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts suggest that, on balance, national economic activity continued to rise, albeit at a modest pace, during the reporting period from September to early October.
Manufacturing activity continued to expand, and several Districts reported gains in production or new orders across a wide range of industries. The only exceptions were the Philadelphia and Richmond Districts, where activity softened compared with the previous reporting period. Exports boosted manufacturing activity according to contacts in the Cleveland, Chicago, and Kansas City Districts.
Activity was stable to modestly increasing for most professional and nonfinancial services. Demand for information technology (IT) services remained solid.
And on real estate:
Housing markets remained weak. Most District Beige Book reports suggested overall home sales were sluggish or declining and were below year-ago levels…. Single-family construction activity was at very low levels, but had improved somewhat in the Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City Districts. Respondents’ outlooks suggested sales and construction would remain subdued through year-end.
Conditions in the commercial real estate sector remained subdued. Reports suggested rental rates continued to decline for most commercial property types. The one exception was the apartment sector, where higher leasing activity led to fewer concessions, most notably in Manhattan. Office, industrial and retail rental markets remained weak.
Industry contacts appeared to believe that the commercial real estate and construction sectors would remain weak for some time.”