Economic Activity Increases Due to Better Weather
As the harsh winter months are left behind, reports from the Federal Reserve’s 12 districts indicate economic activity has increased in most regions of the country. Boston, Philadelphia, Richmond, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco characterized their economic expansion from March to April as “modest or moderate” in the most recent update. Two areas showing a decline in economic activity were Cleveland and Saint Louis. Reports from the districts showed home prices rising modestly with inventory levels remaining low. Sales activity was more mixed with Kansas City, Dallas, and Richmond reporting a seasonal pick-up in demand while New York and Chicago saw varying numbers. In addition, homebuilding activity grew in most districts.
The report shows an increase in loan demand and credit standards were largely unchanged in most districts. Chair of the Fed, Janet Yellen, made a speech at the Economic Club of New York following the release of the report. One major point in her speech was a projection of maximum employment – 5.2 to 5.6 percent – by the end of 2016. This brings even more positive outlook to the future of the economic conditions in the 12 districts.