CHICAGO — MANY EXPERTS, including the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, report economic growth in recent months, albeit at a modest pace.
The 12 Federal Reserve Districts, in their January report, showed expanded activity since the previous Beige Book, with all 12 showing modest or moderate growth. Consumer spending was up, with 2012 holiday sales somewhat higher than in 2011. Ten districts reported steady or stronger automobile sales, and tourism activity was up across much of the nation. Transportation services in six of the districts showed increases, while manufacturing reports were mixed (six districts reported an increase and three reported a decrease). And real estate activity (for sales and rentals of existing homes) held steady or increased slightly in 11 districts.
THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF SHOPPING CENTERS reported an increase of 3.6% in the net operating income of U.S. shopping centers for 2012. The figure is 2.3% higher than 2011, and expenses were reported to be down by 0.1%.