The Federal Reserve's latest Beige Book, an anecdotal review of economic conditions, throws more damp tinder on the smoldering pile of leaves that is the U.S. economy.
Businesses in the 12 Federal Reserve Bank districts report that economic activity in general continued to expand since the last Beige Book in April. However, Philadelphia was one of four districts that identified "slow slowing" in the pace of growth.
The only district that described an accelerating economy was Dallas.
Looking ahead, what do you think businesspeople expect for the next six months? How about slow growth again? We like slow-growing lawns, not slow-growing economies when there is a 9 percent unemployment rate.
From manufacturing to retail to the services sector, it's really hard to get excited about what's in this latest report, which includes anonymous quotes from businesspeople.
One banker said, "Loan demand hasn't moved at all.'
One real estate agent said, "We are off the bottom, but it's going to be a slow comeback."
Here's a link to the Philadelphia portion of the Beige Book report. At least, it's a quick read -- a good thing when it's all about how slooooow things are.