The Fed beige book is more formally known as the “Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions.” The beige book describes economic conditions in each of the twelve Federal Reserve Bank districts. The beige book is published eight times per year by the Federal Reserve Board. In addition, the reports are available to the public. The book is nicknamed the beige book because the cover is beige.
The Federal Reserve Board oversees the Federal Reserve System, which is the central bank of the United States. The twelve district banks are headquartered in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Kansas City, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, San Francisco, and St. Louis.
The beige books summarize the economic conditions of the twelve Federal Reserve Bank districts. Furthermore, anecdotal evidence determines the economic conditions. As a result, Federal Reserve Bank officials meet with and interview economists, industry experts, and key business contacts and ask them for their perceptions of current economic conditions. They use the information garnered from these sources to compose the summary.
Each District Bank writes up its report, summarizing economic conditions by sector, and submits the summary to the district bank responsible for compiling the beige book. Responsibility for compiling the beige book rotates among all the district banks. The district bank responsible for compiling the beige book then summarizes the district economic conditions in a broader overall summary of economic conditions.
When the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets eight times per year to discuss and decide issues of U.S. monetary policy, such as raising or lowering the fed funds rate, they consider the information in the beige book as one of the sources of data in the process.
To see the Federal Reserve beige book 2008 as well as older beige books, go to: federalreserve.gov.