Cleveland Fed, regional business contacts discuss how 2014 compared to 2013, expectations for 2015
Cleveland Fed analyst and regional businesspeople discuss how last year compared to 2013, and expectations for the year ahead
Comparing the last Beige Book of 2014 and the last Beige Book of 2013, Bob Sadowski, the senior economic analyst who manages production of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's contribution to the Fed's report on regional economic conditions, says that “in general, things are somewhat improved.”
Probably the biggest change year over year occurred for nonresidential construction. Whereas many developers in late 2013 said they were reluctant to start large projects, “that sentiment has largely disappeared,” says Sadowski.
Sadowski, the Bank’s contacts, and others interviewed for Forefront, the Bank's policy publication, say:
- Manufacturers are more willing to spend money on equipment and plant expansions.
- Oil and gas remains a big driver of manufacturing demand, as does motor vehicle production.
- Lower gasoline prices are helping to boost spending, but consumers, especially millennials, are more interested in buying motor vehicles and experiences, such as vacations, than merchandise.
- Consumer and business credit demand in 2014 roughly mirrored what bankers saw in 2013, with the exception of strong growth in demand for commercial real estate loans at the end of last year.
- A near majority of the Cleveland Fed’s contacts reported in late 2014 that they planned to hire in the next 12 months, driving an upward trend that’s lasted roughly 24 months
And be sure to check out the latest Beige Book, which will be released at 2:00 pm today.
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.
The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.
Doug Campbell, email@example.com, 513.455.4479