According to the latest Beige Book, the U.S. economic contraction slowed in five out of the 12 Districts, while other saw signs that economic activity is stabilizing at low levels. 

However, the overall outlook looks rather downbeat, since every major business sector is struggling with the current economic conditions. Manufacturer activity continued to weaken since the latest Beige report, while retail sales (which until the recent quarters were the powerhouse of the economy) remained sluggish.

Even though the huge liquidity measures taken by the Fed, the banking sector still reports tight credit conditions and rising delinquencies, together with a lower loan quality. Without surprising anyone, the report points out that the real estate market continues to contract, while the outlook lies on the downside.

“The District’s economic activity still looks weak, however some improvement were made. These suggest that the first quarter data might improve from Q4, however, the economy is still going throughout a strong contraction phase,” Trade Team notes. 

The currency market had no real reaction to the Beige report, since most of the present data had already been released. However, S&P futures fell 5 points in the minutes after the release.