The Fed’s Beige Book came out this week, with some good anecdotal data from New Jersey. The Fed says that several areas of commerce around the state are rebounding from slower growth in the prior period: Brokers reported modest growth of existing home sales, auto dealers reported modest growth following a period in which sales were flat, and manufacturers reported modest growth following prior reports of slight declines.
Northern New Jersey's market for single-family homes continues to improve modestly, although prices are still being held down by a sizable overhang of distressed properties, which is coming down only gradually. Industrial and warehouse construction has also picked up in northern New Jersey.
But maybe the most surprising good news is out of Atlantic City. “Unseasonably warm weather altered activities in the mountains and attracted more visitors to the shore,” the Book reported. “Atlantic City casino revenues rose 15 percent in February compared with the prior year - a rare increase that may reflect stronger-than-normal convention bookings.”