CHICAGO — The Beige Book, the Federal Reserve Bank’s regional economic activity survey, takes the pulse of major industries every six weeks. This is a snapshot as described by survey respondents in the report.
• Manufacturing: Increasing, but at a slower pace of growth.
• Automotive: Mixed, but fairly robust in some regions, offset by parts supply shortages related to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
• Aerospace: Output was strong for makers of commercial aircraft and parts in the San Francisco district. “Production rates remained solid for makers of commercial aircraft and parts, with modest growth in new orders adding to an existing order backlog,” the report said.
• Energy: Showed continued strength, with robust expansion in oil drilling and extraction activity.
• Construction: Residential construction and real estate continued to show widespread weakness, except in the rental segment, where construction activity has picked up. Non-residential construction activity has remained very subdued.
• Agriculture: Severe weather-related delays in planting were seen in many farming regions. Producers of poultry, cattle and timber experienced losses as a result of tornadoes, and many farmers experienced some degree of flooding from the Mississippi River.
• Transportation: Some districts reported increased volume in sea and air cargoes, as well as increased rail shipments, especially with commodities like coal and chemicals for export to China and India.