Fed’s Beige Book “This report was prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland based on information collected on or before January 9, 2023.”Overall economic activity was relatively unchanged since the previous report. Five Districts reported slight or modest increases in overall activity, six noted no change or slight declines, and one cited a significant decline. On balance, contacts generally expected little growth in the months ahead. Consumer spending increased slightly, with some retailers reporting more robust sales over the holidays. Other retailers noted that high inflation continued to reduce consumers’ purchasing power, particularly among low- and moderate-income households. Auto sales were flat on average, but some dealers noted that increased vehicle availability had boosted sales. Tourism contacts reported moderate to robust activity augmented by strong holiday travel. Manufacturers indicated that activity declined modestly on average, and, in many Districts, reported that supply chain disruptions had eased. Housing markets continued to weaken, with sales and construction declining across Districts. Commercial real estate activity slowed slightly, on average, with more notable weakening in the office market. Nonfinancial services firms experienced stable demand on balance. Most bankers reported that residential mortgage demand remained weak, and some said higher borrowing costs had begun to dampen commercial lending. Energy activity continued to increase moderately, and agriculture conditions were generally unchanged or improving.
Employment continued to grow at a modest to moderate pace for most Districts. Only one District reported a slight decline in employment, and one other reported no change in employment levels.
emphasis added And some regional comments on apartments: New York: A sizable volume of new apartment development is due to be completed in 2023.
St Louis: In November, month-over-month median rental rates on new leases fell in all four major District MSAs for both one- and two-bedroom apartments.
Dallas: Apartment leasing softened beyond seasonality, with occupancy and rents slipping modestly.