Beige Book: Spring holds hopes for New England businesses

With the onset of spring, New England businesses are relying on improved consumer confidence and higher sales to drive economic recovery after a difficult first quarter affected by severe winter weather, according to the Federal Reserve Board’s Beige Book released Wednesday. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



economic indicators

Beige Book: Spring holds hopes for New England businesses

BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/BRENT LEWIN
ACCORDING TO THE BEIGE BOOK REPORT released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, most New England business contacts are optimistic about the economic outlook going forward and expect sales to bounce back in spring after declining in the first quarter due to winter weather.
Posted 4/17/14

BOSTON – With the onset of spring, New England businesses are relying on improved consumer confidence and higher sales to drive economic recovery after a difficult first quarter affected by severe winter weather, according to the Federal Reserve Board’s Beige Book released Wednesday.

Commercial real estate leasing activity slowed in the greater Providence area during the first quarter, lowering the confidence of some developers, the Fed reported. However, contacts cited “positive developments in the Rhode Island economy that should contribute to job creation in coming months.” The Beige Book did not specify which positive developments it referred to.

“Rents in Providence are described as flat on average, with some modest upward pressure in the class A office sector and diminishing concessions in suburban locations,” the report stated.

A few of the Fed’s contacts, located in Boston and elsewhere in the region, expressed concern that current construction levels of high-end apartments are excessive in relation to potential demand for such units, but said such units appear to be fetching rents in line with developers’ projections. Meanwhile, although speculative office construction remains limited, respondents said the pipeline of planned office construction in Greater Boston is growing.

In the residential market, Rhode Island contacts cited declines in sales of both single-family homes and condominiums, while condominium sales in Massachusetts increased year over year. Consensus among Beige Book respondents indicated that the decline in sales will be short-lived, and was driven partially by lingering winter weather and uncertainty about new federal flood insurance regulations.

Residential real estate contacts said they expect sales to pick up seasonally this spring, but in Massachusetts, contacts said inventory shortages remain a challenge.

Next Page
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Estate and Corporate Income Taxes are changing next year, and business owners and executives should know the details. The PBN Summit on November 6th will provide those details and more - including how much Obamacare's Employer Mandate could cost.
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News
    Advertisement