The fed just released “Beige Report” -see Atlanta summary for Real Estate and the Economy-

Sixth District--Atlanta

Sixth District business contacts described the economy as expanding at a modest pace in October through mid-November. Retailers noted sluggish sales growth compared with September; however, auto dealers continued to experience robust sales. Tourism activity remained a bright spot for most of the District. According to homebuilders and real estate brokers, sales of new and existing homes remained weak, and home prices continued to decline compared with September. Commercial real estate contractors and brokers noted a slight improvement in nonresidential activity. Manufacturers reported an increase in new orders but a modest decline in production. Lending conditions remained constrained as weak loan demand from businesses and consumers persisted. Reports from businesses suggest that hiring plans continue to be subdued and remain weighted toward hiring temporary or part-time labor. Most businesses reported a moderation in input cost pressures, but also noted limited ability to pass on increases in commodity and other input prices from earlier in the year.

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