When we last checked in on the Federal Reserve's monthly compilation of economic anecdata (the "beige book"), one big reveal from the Richmond Fed was that visitors to North Carolina's Outer Banks were opting for tapas and deck parties rather than formal dining. The latest beige book delves deeper into the regional economy to observe that there are Black Friday sales near the beach:
Tourism reports also varied, with some hoteliers reporting cancellation of large government bookings. An executive at a resort and conference hotel in central Virginia remarked that he can no longer count on group clients booking multi-year contracts for regular conferences because of the firms' budget uncertainty over healthcare costs. In contrast, a resort executive in western Virginia reported that colder weather expectations have raised ski bookings compared to recent years, and weather conditions have allowed snow-making at Thanksgiving. The strength in bookings has allowed the resort to raise some rates for the first time in several years. A contact on the outer banks of North Carolina also reported strong house rentals and hotel bookings for Thanksgiving; several hotels there offered Black Friday specials.
Fascinating. Now don't get me wrong, I like a good Outer Banks weekend getaway as much as the next Richmond Federal Reserve president. But absent any kind of context or quantitative data, what good does this do?