We all know the economy is sluggish, but the latest Beige Book report from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank says it is gradually getting better. The report says manufacturing and service-sector trends were "positive" in the last few weeks, while the housing market improved and banks saw an uptick in lending.
In manufacturing, the Fed reported that poultry processors, furniture makers and commercial printers were adding employees. The positive manufacturing outlook was an upgrade from the previous Beige Book, which used the adjective "mixed."
Overall, the region's economy "continued to expand at a moderate pace," the St. Louis Fed said. The national Beige Book report said the economy grew "modestly," which in Fed-speak is a small step below "moderately."