Read it here first: Fed Says Holiday Sales Disappointing

Shorter Beige Book:

"The Federal Reserve said economic
activity increased "at a slower pace” in late November and
December, with districts reporting "disappointing” holiday
sales.   
       
      

"Economic activity increased modestly during the survey
period,” though "at a slower pace,” the central bank said in
its regional business survey, known as the Beige Book for the
color of its cover. "Most reports on retail activity indicated
subdued holiday spending and further weakness in auto sales.”

The report provided anecdotal evidence the economy is
slowing, a day before Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is scheduled
to testify on the outlook at Congress. Bernanke said last week
more rate cuts "may well be necessary” after 1 percentage
point of reductions since September to buttress growth."


Of course, the Fed would have known this had they been here at The Big Picture as often as some of their staff.

>

Sources:
Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, January 16, 2008
http://www.federalreserve.gov/fomc/beigebook/2008/20080116/default.htm

Fed Says Economy Slowed at Year-End, With Sales `Disappointing’
Steve Matthews
Bloomberg, Jan. 16 2007
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aJ3n7g1Qv.U8&

Category: Consumer Spending, Economy, Federal Reserve, Retail

2008 vs 1992

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Psychology

Bureau of Weights and Measures

Category: Data Analysis, Inflation

How Rational Are Markets?

Category: Economy, Markets, Psychology, Trading

GYOFBM (Off Topic Comments Removed)

Category: Weblogs

Look out Below!

Category: Federal Reserve, Psychology

MacWorld Keynote Bingo

Category: Web/Tech

December Retail Sales

Category: Consumer Spending, Economy, Retail

Free Economist Trial Subscription

Category: Financial Press

Retail Accountability?

Category: Consumer Spending