|Release Date:||Occurs 2 weeks before each meeting of the FOMC of the Federal Reserve Bank|
|Release Time:||Usually at 3pm Eastern US Time on the day of release|
|Released By:||The US Federal Reserve Bank|
The Beige Book is a report that is released by the US Federal Reserve Bank’s FOMC. It is also called the Current Economic Conditions report.
The Beige Book is a compilation of anecdotal evidence supplied by the 12 Federal Reserve banks regarding local economic conditions in their districts. These districts are New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Kansas City, Boston, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, St. Louis, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Dallas.
The compilation is done by one of the district Fed Reserve banks on a rotating basis using reports obtained from bank and branch directors, as well as interviews with economists, key business contacts and market experts. The Beige Book then summarizes the information according to each District and sector.
Time of Release
The Beige Book is usually released 8 times per year and on each occasion, this occurs 2 weeks before each meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve Bank. It usually hits the newswires at 3pm Eastern US Time on the day of release. Information about this news release is usually obtained from the website of the US Federal Reserve Bank, as well as other news sources such as Bloomberg and Thomas Reuters.
Interpreting the Data
The Beige Book report is interpreted on the basis of whether the report prepared is hawkish (i.e. uses language that suggests a tightening of monetary policy or interest rate increases), or dovish (use of language that promotes easing of monetary policy; reducing interest rates).
A typical report would review the following economic conditions and activities in each district:
- Demand for non-financial services
- Banking and financial services
- Retail sales
- Commercial and residential real estate
- State of agriculture and natural resources
- Tourism and travel
- Consumer spending
- Employment, wages and prices
- Other business activity
A summary of the economic condition is then made for each district, and a verdict given on whether the economy in each district is growing or stagnating.
The Beige Book is a moderate impact news release. It is not a fundamental indicator which is tradable, but it can be used to get a sense of the monetary policy direction of the US Federal Reserve in the foreseeable future.
The Beige Book analyses is used by the FOMC to determine what direction they would take on interest rates, especially given that the US has been operating a near-zero rate policy for some time. However, the FOMC also receives 2 other books which are not made public. These are the Green Book and the Blue Book. These two books are widely seen as being more influential in the determination of rates by the FOMC than the Beige Book.