Beige Book

Definition

"Beige Book" is actually only the informal name of this fiscal report; its full moniker is actually the "Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District."

The report is essentially just that in terms of forex trading-a summary of economic conditions around the country. Each Federal Reserve Bank is in charge of gathering anecdotal evidence in its District; Bank and Branch directors give reports, and key economists, market experts, businessmen, and others financial figureheads give interviews. Summaries are provided for each District and sector.

Outsiders, especially those involved with forex trading, look to the Beige Book in an effort to try to understand what the Fed governors are thinking about as they prepare for upcoming Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings.

Importance

The Beige Book (along with other indicators) is used by the Fed during FOMC meetings to help determine interest policy. Many financial experts and investors, such as forex brokers and traders, consider the Beige Book to be a valuable tool for gauging the economy's overall strength. The report's findings can shift the market, especially if said findings reflect a significant deviation from analyst expectations. Prices along forex trading platforms have been known to fluctuate following the release of the Beige Book.

However, the Beige Book does not provide a transparent view of the thoughts of FOMC members. Instead, the report merely provides economic facts about various districts, and while these facts might be accurate, they are only given as descriptive information and not as an actual data breakdown.

Inflationary pressures detailed in the report might cause the Fed to raise interest rates speculatively; this is a dollar bullish reaction. Recessionary conditions might cause the Fed to lower interests rates; this is considered a dollar bearish reaction.

Beige Book Source

Federal Reserve Board

Beige Book Availability

The Beige Book can be found free online at http://www.federalreserve.gov/FOMC/BeigeBook/2011/

Beige Book Frequency

Release is scheduled for 2 PM EST two Wednesdays before every FOMC meeting. The report is released eight times a year and followed closely by the forex trading world.

Visit our main page for more basic FX trading information. You can also browse our resources for additional economic indicators such as the Consumer Sentiment Index, the Consumer Price Index and the Consumer Confidence Index.