Make us your home page

Fed offers somber snapshot of state's economy

The Beige Book continues to look blue when it comes to depicting economic conditions, particularly in the Southeast.

The book, the Federal Reserve's anecdote-based snapshot of the economy in its 12 districts across the country, was a largely somber report Wednesday, with some sprinkles of optimism.

Consumer spending was reported as sluggish or slowing in nearly all districts despite a boost from tax rebate checks. Strength in the health care and IT industries helped offset weaker demand for many other services. Residential real estate and consumer lending were "restrained,'' showing more weakness than commercial lending. And manufacturing output declined, although demand for exports remained "generally high'' thanks in part to the weakened U.S. dollar.

Among insights out of the Atlanta district, which includes Florida:

• Hotels reported more cancellations and shorter trips, though convention business was strong.

• Some businesses reported using credit cards, personal borrowing or delaying payments to manage their cash flow.

• Several employers said they were keeping highly skilled workers on payrolls as long as possible because of concerns about being able to hire them back later.

• Wage increases were "pronounced'' in the health care and energy-related industries.

• Rail shipments of auto and construction materials continued to drop, offsetting gains in shipping coal, minerals and farm products.

• For commercial contractors, "weakness remained most pronounced in Florida,'' with retail development slowing significantly.

Fed offers somber snapshot of state's economy 07/23/08 [Last modified: Thursday, July 24, 2008 11:50am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Controversial landfill site could be rechristened as industrial recruiting land in Pasco

    Economic Development

    The east Pasco property of Angelo's Aggregate Materials, which failed to obtain a state environmental permit to be developed as a garbage landfill, is being studied as a potential 1,000-acre mega site for industrial recruitment.

  2. Marriott opening new hotel on Clearwater Beach


    CLEARWATER BEACH — A dual-branded Marriott hotel with a tongue-twister name is opening on Clearwater Beach in August. The Residence Inn Tampa Clearwater Beach and SpringHill Suites Tampa Clearwater Beach will have 255 suites total, connected by a lobby.

    A dual-branded Marriott hotel called the Residence Inn Tampa Clearwater Beach and SpringHill Suites Tampa Clearwater Beach will open in August in Clearwater Beach. Pictured is a rendering.
[Courtesy of Hayworth PR]
  3. Irish 31 brings flair, flavor to Wiregrass


    WESLEY CHAPEL — Irish 31 Pub House & Eatery opened its fifth location at The Shops at Wiregrass earlier this month.

    hillsevbiz072117: Irish 31 has opened at the Shops at Wiregrass with a warm, wood decor. Photo courtesy of Irish 31.
  4. Family fun featured at Lutz-area ice cream shop


    LUTZ — For Joe Schembri, ice cream reminds him of fun times he spent with his family as a child.

    hillsevbiz072117: Joe Schembri has opened the Ice Dreamery in Lutz. Photo courtesy of Joe Schembri.
  5. Clean Eatz offers low-cal options in South Tampa


    Inside Clean Eatz, almost everything is under 500 calories.

    Clean Eatz will offer healthy dining options in South Tampa. Photo courtesy of Clean Eatz.