Yesterday afternoon, the Federal Reserve released its Beige Book economic survey of conditions in the 12 Federal Reserve Districts. The survey covered the period from January 1st through early February, 2011. The following is a brief summary of the results of the survey. For a more comprehensive view, visit the web sites of The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, etc.

Overall the survey noted that economic activity grew at a modest pace during the survey period with several districts reporting improvement in housing demand and increasing commercial real estate leasing and property sales.

Many sectors of the economy—everything from retail sales to tourism to auto sales to…you get my drift—noted the negative impact on the economy of the severe winter storms experienced in early 2011.

The Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Richmond, Kansas City and Fan Francisco Districts reported commercial real estate sales and/or leasing as gaining traction over the past few months while Philadelphia and Minnesota reported commercial real estate activity as “flat.” New York and St. Louis noted their markets were “slack” and “flat”.

All districts reported improvement in labor market conditions.

All-in-all, net of snowstorms, the survey noted slow, but continued, improvement in regional economic conditions.