FREE SUBSCRIPTION Includes: The Advisor Daily eBlast + Exclusive Content + Professional Network Membership: JOIN NOW LOGIN
Skip Navigation LinksHome / News / Read News


Fed: Economy Expanded at “Moderate Pace”; Loan Demand “Steady or Stronger”

June 07, 2012, 08:00 AM
Filed Under: Economy

Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts suggest overall economic activity expanded at a moderate pace during the reporting period from early April to late May. Activity in the New York, Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts was characterized as growing at a moderate pace, while the Richmond, St. Louis, and Minneapolis Districts noted modest growth. Boston reported steady growth, and the Philadelphia District indicated that the pace of expansion had slowed slightly since the previous Beige Book.

Banking and Finance

Most Districts that commented on lending noted steady or slightly stronger loan demand. Small and medium-sized banks in the New York District reported the most broad-based increase in loan demand since the mid-1990s. Several bankers in the Richmond District said the volume of small business loan applications was markedly higher. Drivers of business loan demand included energy, healthcare, and commercial real estate. Several Districts noted increased demand for capital spending loans.
A number of Districts, including Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco, said loan pricing remained quite competitive. New York District respondents noted a decrease in spreads of loan rates over the cost of funds, particularly for commercial mortgages. Lending standards were relatively unchanged to slightly easier across Districts and loan types. Bankers reporting on deposit growth indicated that deposits were steady or continued to increase.

Credit quality remained solid, and there were several reports of improved loan quality. Most District banks said loan delinquencies continued to decline.

Ongoing capital investments and plans for future capacity expansions were reported by various manufacturers in the Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Kansas City Districts. Firms in the Cleveland District noted spending on capital outlays was on track, while producers in the Philadelphia District reported a decline in future spending plans since the previous report. Manufacturers' outlooks were positive in the Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, and Kansas City Districts; however, contacts in a number of Districts were concerned that a slowdown in Europe and domestic political uncertainty may affect future business conditions.

Manufacturing continued to expand, and most Districts reported gains in production or new orders. The only exceptions were from the Philadelphia, Richmond and St. Louis Districts, where factory activity was mixed or had softened slightly.

Demand for agricultural and construction equipment remained strong according to the Chicago District report, and industrial machinery manufacturers in the Philadelphia District noted gains. Demand for construction-related product improved in the Dallas District, and orders for lumber and wood products increased in most reporting Districts.

Comments From Our Members

You must be an Equipment Finance Advisor member to post comments. Login or Join Now.