The “Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions” (also known as “The Beige Book“) is published eight times a year by the Federal Reserve Board. It is a quick snapshot of several economic sectors in major metropolitan areas.
The report for the Dallas area is mixed. Inflation is minimal with very little wage pressure. The labor market is holding steady. Manufacturing is “bouncing along the bottom” with excess inventory and depressed margins.
Commercial real estate activity is depressed with downward pressure on rents. Office leasing activity is falling; demand for industrial space is on the decline and investment real estate transactions are dead. Most contacted do not anticipate improvement in commercial real estate until 2011.