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

"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.


Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, January 16, 2008

Fed Says Economy Slowed at Year-End, With Sales `Disappointing’
Steve Matthews
Bloomberg, Jan. 16 2007

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