December 2, 2021

The Federal Reserve Beige* Book System has released its Beige Book December Beige Book for December 1, 2021. Here are my outtakes:

Strong demand generally allowed firms to raise prices with little pushback.
Economic activity grew at a modest to moderate pace in most Federal Reserve Districts during October and early November.
Consumer spending increased modestly.
The outlook for overall activity remained positive in most Districts, but some noted uncertainty about when supply chain and labor supply challenges would ease.

*Definition of Beige Book:

Commonly known as the Beige Book, this report is published eight times per year. Each Federal Reserve Bank gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its District through reports from Bank and Branch directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources. The Beige Book summarizes this information by District and sector. An overall summary of the twelve district reports is prepared by a designated Federal Reserve Bank on a rotating basis.

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Container prices have seen some decline. Based upon conversations with my contacts, January and February will likely see container price increases as demand goes up and Chinese New Year shuts down factories. This could be particularly important in 2022 as retailers are placing orders for earlier shipment than last year by as much as 30 days.