The latest Beige Book reflected a picture of the U.S. economy that has been largely unaffected by the increasing market concern over falling oil prices, the end of QE in the
United States, and the rising U.S. dollar. The report suggested that U.S. economic activity has “continued to expand,” and in general, optimism regarding the economic
outlook far outweighed pessimism, as it has for the past 18 months or so. For the first time in this business cycle, the latest Beige Book contained more than one mention of
employers having difficulty finding low-skilled workers, and retaining and compensating key workers. Over the past 3 Beige Books, the BBB has averaged +93, in-line with the
highest readings over any 3 consecutive Beige Books since at least 2005, suggesting recent market concerns have not been a threat to the U.S. economic expansion as of late November 2014….