Beige Book – Definition

Cite this article as:"Beige Book – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated April 16, 2020, last accessed October 27, 2020,


Beige Book

The Beige Book is an informal name for a report published by the Federal Reserve on economic conditions. The official name for the Beige book is the “Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District.”  This is both a statistical report and economic data about the present economic conditions of the country. The Beige book contains ongoing reports by the Federal Reserve and is published eight times in a year by the U.S. central bank. The Beige book also contains information on current economic conditions gathered by each of the Federal Reserve Bank in the United States.

A Little More on What is the Beige Book

The Beige Book or the “Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District” is published before the meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee. This book contains reports from each of the 12 Federal Reserve Districts in the U.S, each district summarizes information received from interviews with economists, market experts, and participants, and other sources. The Beige Book is published about two weeks before the FOMC meeting to keep them updated on present economic conditions, the economic data reviewed by the FOMC at the previous meeting are also included in the book.

Members of the public can have access to the Beige book through the Board of Governor’s website. Although, the Beige book has had different names in history such as the Blue Book, Green Book, and the Red Book, its first compilation as done in 1970, although only became available after 1985.

Reference for “Beige Book” › Insights › Politics & Money › Investing › US Economy › Monetary Policy › Publications

Academics research on “Beige Book”

Measuring the information content of the beige book: A mixed data sampling approach, Armesto, M. T., HERNÁNDEZMURILLO, R. U. B. É. N., Owyang, M. T., & Piger, J. (2009). Measuring the information content of the beige book: A mixed data sampling approach. Journal of Money, Credit and Banking41(1), 35-55. Studies of the predictive ability of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book for aggregate output and employment have proven inconclusive. This might be attributed, in part, to its irregular release schedule. We use a model that allows for data sampling at mixed frequencies to analyze the predictive power of the Beige Book. We find that the Beige Book’s national summary and District reports predict GDP and aggregate employment and that most District reports provide information content for regional employment. In addition, there appears to be an asymmetry in the predictive content of the Beige Book language.

How well does the Beige Book reflect economic activity? Evaluating qualitative information quantitatively, Balke, N. S., & Petersen, D. A. (2002). How well does the Beige Book reflect economic activity? Evaluating qualitative information quantitatively. Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, 114-136. Eight times a year, approximately two weeks before every FOMC meeting, the Federal Reserve releases a description of economic conditions in the twelve Federal Reserve districts. Called the Beige Book, this description relies primarily on surveys and anecdotal evidence gathered by the twelve district banks. For this paper, we read and numerically scored past Beige Books in order to determine the extent to which the descriptions in these books accurately reflect current economic activity as measured by quarterly real GDP growth. We find that both in-sample and out-of-sample, the quantitative Beige Book indices do have significant predictive content for current and next quarter real GDP growth. Furthermore, the Beige Book has information about current quarter real GDP growth not present in other indicators such as the Blue Chip Consensus Forecast or time series models that use real-time data.

Does the Beige Book move financial markets?, Zavodny, M., & Ginther, D. K. (2005). Does the Beige Book move financial markets?. Southern Economic Journal, 138-151. About two weeks prior to each Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, the Federal Reserve releases a description of economic activity in a document called the Beige Book. By creating a quantitative index of these qualitative reports, we examine whether the content of the Beige Book affects asset prices. The results indicate that more positive Beige Book reports on economic growth are associated with increases in interest rates, particularly intermediate- and long-term rates, but not after controlling for several other macroeconomic indicators. The results are consistent with markets viewing the report as a summary indicator of economic growth but not of monetary policy moves in the near term.

Soft information and economic activity: Evidence from the Beige Book, Sadique, S., In, F., Veeraraghavan, M., & Wachtel, P. (2013). Soft information and economic activity: Evidence from the Beige Book. Journal of Macroeconomics37, 81-92. This study employs text-analysis software to analyze the contents of the Federal Reserve Beige Book summary of national economic and business conditions, with a particular focus on the predictive content of the text. We show that the Beige Book language is a good predictor of economic turning points as it often provides an early indication of future economic activities. During economic upswings, positive tone becomes more prominent and negative tone becomes less prominent. In addition, this study is the first to document that Beige Book tone affects stock market volatility and trading volume.

The Beige Book: Timely information on the regional economy, Ginther, D. K., & Zavodny, M. (2001). The Beige Book: Timely information on the regional economy. Economic Review-Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta86(3), 19.

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