Beige Book: Modest pace of growth in business activity in Philadelphia

"Modest" is the word for the state of business activity in the Philadelphia region, according to the latest Federal Reserve Beige Book report.

With a few "moderates" thrown in to describe residential real estate sales and sales of new and used automobiles.

There is not much in the report that hasn't been said many times before since the financial crisis. The line that is sure tamp down enthusiasm for a pickup in the economy locally is: "Many contacts continue to hold off on their plans to expand capacity and hire more staff."

Wait 'til next season, I guess.

You can read the section about the Philadelphia area here.

Some highlights:

  • Manufacturing -- Orders and shipments have risen slightly.
  • Retail -- Auto dealers report up-and-down weekly sales patterns.
  • Finance -- Loan growth has softened somewhat.
  • Real estate and construction -- "More new homes were rising from the ground in the first quarter of 2013 than in any year since 2008."
  • Services -- Ski resorts, good. Casinos, bad. Everyone else modest growth.
  • Prices and wages -- Price levels up slightly. Wages rose only slightly, if at all.