Beige Book Blues: Holiday Edition

Earlier today, the Federal Reserve issued their eighth and final Beige Book report of 2008 (PDF here), finding, as you might expect, that economic conditions are weakening across the nation in virtually all sectors of the economy. Here is a quick recap of the dreary news in District II, which includes all of New York, a tiny sliver of Connecticut and northern New Jersey.

- Same store retail sales in October and early November are down 5 to 10 percent from last year, and may have been worse had it not been for unseasonably cold weather in November that boosted winter apparel sales.

- In October, hotel revenues fell 10 percent on the year, indicative of drops in both occupancy rates and room rates.

- Manhattan co-op and condo sales have fallen 15 to 20 percent since mid-summer, which doesn’t sound too bad. But, as the report notes, “much of the recent activity is reportedly from desperate sellers.”  read more »

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