According to the Beige Book, the US economy expanded in January and through mid-February. The Beige Book (released eight times per year by the US Federal Reserve) is a report containing anecdotal information regarding economic insight gathered by central bank employees. Modest improvement was noted in the housing sector in addition to the economy at large. This largely mirrors the previous Beige Book publication.
Overall, the Beige Book was cautiously optimistic. The report particularly highlighted strength in manufacturing. Despite this, Chairman Ben Bernanke still characterized growth as “below its longer-term trend.” This improvement, below trend or not, has decreased the chances of near-term monetary stimulus.