View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Beige Book

Don't expect the Left, or the Democrats, to be talking about this much, but the Fed released its Beige Book for the month, and the news is mostly good. Retail sales were down, mostly because auto sales were off a little, but otherwise the measure would have shown a gain. Ten of the 12 Fed districts showed improvement, manufacturing is up, and employment is starting to show some improvement in that sector. Another good sign is that business loan demand is up, indicating that businesses are starting to purchase again. This goes along with the Denver Chamber of Commerce's report that 25% of businesses are planning to hire this quarter, while only 2% are planinng to lay off.

Residential real estate leads commercial real estate, even out here in the Kansas City District, which actually has some local tax implications. Residential real estate tax receipts can't be more than 45% of total real estate receipts by Colorado Law. So if residential activity is strong, while commercial activity is lower, residential property tax assessments will continue to drop. There's already a move to cap that drop, and this will probably add fuel to that.

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